Juan Collins Cocktail Recipe

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Juan Collins Nutrition Facts


Fat:0 g

Protein:0 g

Carbohydrates:~17 g


Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


The Juan Collins is a delightful twist on the classic Tom Collins cocktail, substituting tequila for gin. It's a refreshing choice for those who appreciate the smooth, agave-infused kick of tequila paired with the tartness of lemon. This cocktail is believed to have emerged from the creative experimentation of bartenders looking to offer a Mexican-inspired variant of the popular Collins family.

  • Originating in the late 20th century, the Juan Collins has become a staple for tequila enthusiasts.
  • It's particularly favored during the summer months or at festive gatherings.
  • The cocktail's simplicity makes it accessible to both novice and experienced cocktail lovers.

How Juan Collins Tastes?

The Juan Collins offers a harmonious blend of sweet and sour with a robust tequila foundation. The agave nectar complements the natural flavors of the tequila, while the lemon juice adds a refreshing zing. The club soda provides a fizzy lift that makes the drink light and effervescent.

Interesting facts about Juan Collins

  • The Juan Collins is a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed year-round, though it's particularly popular in the summer.
  • This cocktail is a great introduction to tequila for those who are more accustomed to gin-based drinks.
  • The use of agave nectar instead of simple syrup or sugar makes this drink uniquely tied to the tequila spirit, as agave is the plant from which tequila is derived.


  • Tequila: 1.5 oz(45ml)
  • Lemon juice: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Agave nectar: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Club soda: To Top
  • Lime wedge: For Garnish


Tequila is the spirit base that gives the Juan Collins its distinct character. Opting for 1.5 oz is the sweet spot—enough to pack a punch without overshadowing the other ingredients. If you're short on tequila or just not a fan, you could sub in mezcal for a smokier note, but beware—swap it out completely and you'll miss the party vibe only tequila brings.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

The zesty 1 oz of fresh lemon juice brings brightness and tang, keeping the cocktail on the right side of sweet. Skimp on this, and your cocktail may be too sweet; overdo it, and you'll be puckering more than smooching. A splash of lime juice could work if you're out of lemons, but it's a different kind of tart.

Emma Rose

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar, the smooth operator in this drink, balances the acidity from the lemon at a harmonious 1 oz. Less and you'll miss that kiss of sweetness; more, and it'll be like diving into a honey pot. No agave? Simple syrup could fill in, but the flavor profile will be less 'exotic vacation' and more 'backyard BBQ'.

Mary Mitkina

Club Soda

Club soda, the effervescent topper, adds a refreshing sparkle that makes this cocktail sing. There's no hard rule on how much, just top to taste. Lose the bubbles, and you're stuck with a flat drink—talk about a party pooper.

Alex Green

Lime Wedge

Finally, the lime wedge isn't just a pretty face; it's an invitation to add a twist of extra citrus just before you sip. Without it, the drink still works, but that final touch of flair will be sorely missed.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Juan Collins Drink

  1. Fill a Collins glass with ice cubes.
  2. Pour 1.5 oz of tequila over the ice.
  3. Add 1 oz of fresh lemon juice.
  4. Include 1 oz of agave nectar.
  5. Stir the mixture thoroughly.
  6. Top with club soda to your liking.
  7. Garnish with a lime wedge on the rim of the glass.

Pro Tips

  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill the Collins glass before building the drink to keep it cooler for longer.
  • Adjust the sweetness to your taste by adding more or less agave nectar.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Spicy Mexican Dishes: The citrus and sweetness of the Juan Collins can cool down the heat of spicy food, like tacos al pastor or chiles rellenos.
  • Seafood: A good companion for fresh seafood, especially citrus-marinated items like ceviche or a shrimp cocktail.
  • Grilled Meats: The acidity from the lemon juice can cut through the fattiness of grilled steaks or barbecue ribs, making for a refreshing palate cleanser.

Drink Pairings

  • Light Beers: Following the Juan Collins with a light beer can complement the cocktail's refreshing nature without overwhelming the palate.
  • Sparkling Water: If you want to pace yourself, alternating with sparkling water will keep you hydrated and echo the fizziness of the club soda in the cocktail.

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What you could change in Juan Collins

  • Tequila: You can use any blanco tequila, but for a smoother taste, a reposado tequila can also be a good choice.
  • Agave Nectar: If you don't have agave nectar, simple syrup or honey can be used as a substitute, though the flavor profile will change slightly.
  • Club Soda: Sparkling mineral water can be used as an alternative to club soda for a slightly different mineral taste.

Explore all drinks starting with J here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Juan Collins

  • Mezcal: Substitute tequila with mezcal for a smoky variant.
  • Orange Liqueur: Add 0.5 oz of orange liqueur for depth.
  1. Follow the original recipe but use mezcal.
  2. Add the orange liqueur just before stirring.
  3. Garnish with an orange twist.

This will result in a cocktail with a smoky, mysterious undertone and a hint of complex citrus that's a step away from the classic freshness—perfect for those who like to walk on the wild side of the bar.

Spicy Juan Collins

  • Jalapeño: Muddle a few slices of jalapeño before adding the other ingredients.
  1. Start by muddling jalapeño in the glass.
  2. Continue with the standard Juan Collins method.
  3. Consider a salt rim for an extra kick.

Expect a cocktail that tickles your throat and livens up your palate, best enjoyed with a light breeze and someone you wouldn't mind getting spicy with.

Berry Juan Collins

  • Berries: Muddle a handful of mixed berries before adding the ingredients.
  • Mint: Add a few mint leaves into the mix.
  1. Begin by muddling berries and mint in the glass.
  2. Pour in the tequila, lemon juice, and agave nectar, then stir.
  3. Top with club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.

A fruity, refreshing twist that feels like summer in a glass. It's like the laid-back cousin of the original that always brings the fun without trying too hard.

In case you forgot basics how to make Juan Collins

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Juan Collins

What type of glass is best for serving a Juan Collins?

A Collins glass is the traditional choice for serving this cocktail, but if unavailable, a highball glass can be a suitable substitute.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Juan Collins?

Yes, you can create a mocktail version by substituting the tequila with a non-alcoholic spirit alternative, or simply by increasing the quantities of the other ingredients.

How can I tell if the tequila I'm using is of good quality?

Look for tequilas that are labeled '100% agave', indicating they're made from pure agave nectar and not mixed with other sugar sources.

What is the origin of the name 'Collins' in cocktail names?

The 'Collins' name originated from a line of sour cocktails in the late 19th century, typically featuring lemon juice, sugar, and a carbonated element, named after the bartender John Collins of London.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when making a Juan Collins?

Not using fresh lemon juice, over-sweetening with too much agave nectar, or adding too much club soda which can dilute the drink are common pitfalls.

Can the Juan Collins be prepared as a batch for a party?

Yes, you can multiply the ingredients proportionally based on the number of guests and mix in a large pitcher, adding club soda just before serving to maintain effervescence.

How should I store leftover agave nectar?

Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place or refrigerate it to extend its shelf life.

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