Many classic cocktails highlight the flavors of a spirit by pairing them with light ingredients. In a Tom Collins, bright citrus and bubbly soda water allow the bittersweet, botanical taste of gin to shine.
A small amount of simple syrup enhances these other flavors.
While many styles of the spirit work in the cocktail, finding the right gin for Tom Collins cocktails depends on personal taste.
Check out these versatile options to find the best match for your bar.
Tanqueray No. 10
This offering from one of the most famous names in gin, Tanqueray, is a small batch variety. In the brand’s No. 10 blend, citrus plays a prominent role, layering bright notes throughout the spirit.
The lemon juice in the Tom Collins enhances these flavors, making this gin a lovely addition to the cocktail.
Gray Whale features botanical ingredients from around California, tracing a similar route to the migrating whales in the area while inspiring the name.
Fresh, sustainably sourced products bring a rich flavor to the spirit. The untraditional use of Kombu Sea Kelp creates a distinct umami not found in other gins.
Beefeater London Dry Gin
A classic cocktail calls for a traditional spirit. The Beefeater brand, established 200 years ago, remains among the most awarded brands for its clean flavors.
This gin showcases a balance between robust woodsy juniper and strong citrus tones. The dry gin brings a crisp finish to a Tom Collins cocktail.
Another dry-style gin, The Botanist uses ingredients from the Scottish Island Islay, including nine types of berries.
These and other hand-foraged botanicals flavor the resulting spirit with complex notes pairing subtle fruity tones with lots of earthiness. The taste, and the smooth character of the spirit, make it an excellent gin for Tom Collins.
Whitley Neill Blood Orange Gin
Consider this spirit enhanced by intense blood orange for a more flavorful cocktail. The citrus notes in the gin bring out a bright character in the spirit while also highlighting the bitter notes. In a Tom Collins, the gin creates a pleasant light orange color, altering the traditional cocktail's look and flavor.
St. George Terroir
St. George Terroir provides some of the best gin for Tom Collins if you want to contrast the cocktail’s light ingredients with a robust spirit.
The California brand’s gin contains 12 botanicals from around the Bay area, including Douglas fir, resulting in an earthy flavor profile with piney notes being the most prominent.
Sipsmith Lemon Gin
For a Tom Collins with extra lemon flavor, Sipsmith provides an excellent option. The brand adds carefully curated citrus to its dry gin, creating a crisp spirit with pleasant tart tones. The gin also expresses richer notes of vanilla which build through a warming finish with licorice undertones.
Bluecoat Elderflower Gin
Those who enjoy floral notes should try this gin for Tom Collins cocktails. The American dry gin brand based in Philadelphia includes elderflower in the maceration process.
Adding the ingredient at this point in production yields a delicate floral flavor and a strong aroma of flowers on the nose.
Unlike other brands, Plymouth develops complex tastes from only seven botanicals in its spirit.
These elements are most apparent in the aroma of gin, where you may notice notes of cardamom and juniper. On the palate, the gin presents a slightly sweet taste with a clean flavor and a creamy mouthfeel.
Hayman’s Old Tom Gin
The Hayman’s brand recommends its gin for Tom Collins and other cocktails for its intense yet delicate balance of flavor.
The family recipe calls for larger quantities of botanicals, enhancing the citrus and pine notes in the spirit with subtly sweet undertones. This robust flavor profile makes an excellent pairing in mixed drinks.
Ransom Old Tom
Old Tom Gin stands out as unique compared to what gin is today but would have been the standard in America pre-prohibition.
Distillers crafted the spirit with the help of a historian, recreating a traditional recipe using malted barley. Using this ingredient results in layer tones of sweet and subtle spice, highlighting citrusy botanicals in the drink.
Another gin infused with light ingredients enhancing the crisp character, Hendrick’s introduces tones of rose and cucumber into its spirit.
These subtle notes help to highlight the botanicals for a well-rounded taste overall. The flavors in this gin add a refreshing element to any cocktail, especially in a Tom Collins.
Malfy Lemon Gin
This lemon-flavored gin sources its citrus from Italy’s beautiful Amalfi coast. The two varieties of lemons in the spirit give this gin a tart burst of flavor.
This gin gives Tom Collins cocktails a powerful citrus hit, perfect for bringing zest to an old favorite. Try the brand's other flavors to experiment with different kinds of citrus.
From dry varieties to more flavorful options, gin for Tom Collins cocktails comes in many forms.
Stock your bar with whichever botanical blend best suits your tastes, or experiment until you find one to craft your perfect cocktail.
Did we miss your favorite gin for mixing? Let us know your favorites in the comments below!
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