Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Tom Collins Nutrition Facts






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 7, 2024


The Tom Collins is a classic cocktail that dates back to the 19th century. It is named after a popular hoax in the 1870s called the 'Tom Collins' gossip, where people would claim that a man named Tom Collins was spreading rumors about them. The drink became popular in the United States and has remained a favorite ever since. It is a refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail that is perfect for warm weather and outdoor gatherings.

  • Origin: 19th century
  • Named after a popular hoax
  • Perfect for warm weather and outdoor gatherings

How Tom Collins Tastes?

The Tom Collins has a refreshing, slightly sour, and mildly sweet taste. It is a well-balanced cocktail with a smooth and light texture, making it easy to drink and enjoy.

Interesting facts about Tom Collins

  • The Tom Collins is often considered a 'long drink' due to its larger serving size
  • It is a variation of the classic gin sour cocktail
  • The Tom Collins is sometimes mistakenly called a 'John Collins', which is actually a different cocktail made with bourbon


A few good options for Tom Collins are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


The stalwart spirit that gives our Tom Collins its kick! At 2 oz, it's perfectly balanced—not enough to knock your socks off, but just the right amount to liven up the party. Forget the gin and you're basically sipping on sparkly lemonade.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

Fresh juice makes all the difference—1 oz provides a tartness that's refreshing and zesty. If life doesn't give you lemons, bottled juice might do, but it's like kissing through a screen door—not quite the same.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

Half an ounce of sweetness to counteract the lemon's sour pucker. It's like the yin to the lemon's yang; without it, be ready for a face cringe similar to a baby tasting a lemon for the first time.

Emma Rose

Club Soda

Bubbles, baby! 2 oz to top it off, giving it a fizz that tickles your nose and lightens the mood. Sans club soda, the drink would miss that effervescent charm—sort of like a party with no music.

Mary Mitkina


Our cold companion that chills the scene. It's a necessary accessory in this mix, ensuring every sip is as cool as a cucumber in a snowstorm.

Alex Green

Lemon Wheel

This garnish adds a sunny, citrusy flair to your glass. Plus, it's a visual cue of the lemon juice's presence—it's like the flag atop a freshly conquered flavor peak.

Emma Rose

Maraschino Cherry

A touch of whimsy and sweetness to crown the creation. The maraschino is there to say, 'Life's a bowl of cherries, with a cocktail on top!'. Imagine the drink without it; it's like a smile without dimples—still nice, but missing something special.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Tom Collins Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice
  2. Add gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup
  3. Shake well until chilled
  4. Strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice
  5. Top with club soda
  6. Gently stir to combine
  7. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a maraschino cherry

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lemon juice for a more vibrant flavor
  • Chill the Collins glass before serving for a colder drink
  • Shake the cocktail well to properly mix the ingredients

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie boards: The zesty and refreshing nature of a Tom Collins cuts through the fats of meats and cheeses beautifully.
  • Crudité platters: Fresh vegetables are light and can complement the crispness of the cocktail.

Main Courses

  • Grilled fish: The lemon in the cocktail pairs wonderfully with lighter proteins like fish.
  • Roast chicken: The acid in the Tom Collins balances the richness of the chicken.


  • Lemon tart: Enhances the lemon flavor in the cocktail.
  • Berry fruit salad: The sweetness of the fruit connects with the Maraschino cherry garnish.

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Tom Collins

  • Vodka can be used instead of gin for a different flavor profile
  • Lime juice can replace lemon juice for a more tangy taste
  • Agave syrup can be used instead of simple syrup for a natural sweetener

Explore all drinks starting with T here

And of course - twists🍹

Honey Collins

Swap out simple syrup for honey syrup for a floral twist. Add 0.5 oz of honey syrup, slightly less acidic and with a hint of natural sweetness.

Raspberry Collins

Muddle a handful of fresh raspberries with the simple syrup before shaking. This berry twist brings a tart and fruity dimension, perfect for summer sipping.

Cucumber Basil Collins

Add some muddled cucumber slices and basil leaves to the shaker. This garden-fresh twist offers a herby and refreshing take that is as revitalizing as a spring breeze.

In case you forgot basics how to make Tom Collins

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

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

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Tom Collins

What type of gin works best in a Tom Collins?

A dry gin works best in a Tom Collins, although it can be made with any type of gin.

Can a Tom Collins be made without alcohol?

Yes, a mocktail version of the Tom Collins can be made by replacing the gin with additional club soda or tonic water.

What other garnishes are suitable for a Tom Collins?

A lime wheel, a sprig of mint, or a slice of cucumber can also be used to garnish a Tom Collins.

How do I ensure the correct balance between sour, sweet, and alcoholic components in a Tom Collins?

Maintaining the right proportion of simple syrup, lemon juice, and gin as per the recipe is crucial. Too much simple syrup can make the cocktail too sweet, too much lemon juice can make it overly sour, and too much gin can overpower the other flavors.

Why is it called a 'long drink'?

A 'long drink' generally refers to a drink that is served in a larger glass and is designed to be sipped slowly over time.

What other cocktails are similar to a Tom Collins?

The Gin Fizz and the Southside cocktail are similar cocktails that also use lemon juice and gin as key ingredients.

More similar recipes to Tom Collins!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe