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Tom Collins

Tom Collins Cocktail glass

A Tom Collins is a great drink, and I’d like to tell you about it. It is an effortless and classic cocktail that is incredibly invigorating. It is always a pleasure to serve because it brings joy to everyone’s face. It consists of soda water, gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Ideal for enjoying while basking in the sun or at any time when one desires a delectable and invigorating beverage.

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Tasting Notes

A tumbler of Tom Collins tastes like sunshine. It’s gin-infused and sweet, but not overly sweet. The soda water makes it fizzy and enjoyable, while the lemon juice gives it a tangy edge. Although it seems elegant, the drink is actually quite straightforward.

Glassware and Equipment

A few tools are required to prepare a Tom Collins:

  • To shake things up, use a shaker.
  • To ensure that only the finest particles enter your glass, use a strainer.
  • A tall glass—the namesake of the beverage—is called a Collins glass!


  • 2 oz. of gin
  • 1 oz. lemon juice (fresh is best!)
  • 1/2 oz. simple syrup (that’s just sugar water)
  • Soda water to top it off
  • A lemon slice and a cherry for garnish


  1. Fill your shaker with ice.
  2. Pour in the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  3. Shake it up until it’s well mixed and chilled.
  4. Strain it into a tall glass filled with fresh ice.
  5. Top it off with soda water.
  6. Garnish with a lemon slice and a cherry.
See also  17 Must-Try Hendrick's Gin Cocktails

Pro Tips

  • If possible, use fresh lemon juice; it makes a significant difference.
  • Add or subtract simple syrup to suit your desired level of sweetness.
  • For added cooling, chill your glass before adding the drink.

When to Serve

In all honesty, a Tom Collins is excellent anytime you want something refreshing, but it’s especially amazing in warm weather. It’s popular for celebrations, particularly in the spring and summer, or anytime you want a refreshing, effervescent beverage.

Which Liquor Brands to Choose

For a Tom Collins, any good-quality gin will do. If you’re wondering which brand to pick, here are a few I like:

  • Beefeater: classic and reliable.
  • Tanqueray: a bit more upscale, with a nice flavor.
  • Hendrick’s: if you’re feeling fancy, with its unique cucumber note.

Similar Cocktails

In addition to Tom Collins, you might like:

  • Gin Fizz: is a somewhat frothier version of a Tom Collins.
  • Lemon Drop: presented in a martini glass and sweeter.
  • Mojito: If you’re craving something minty.
  • Whiskey Sour: For a unique twist, try substituting whiskey for gin.
  • Vodka Soda: a less complicated yet equally revitalizing drink.


The history of the Tom Collins dates back to the 1800s. Initially, it was a practical joke between friends, but bartenders soon started doing it seriously. The Collins glass that it is served in gave rise to its name. The reason this drink has endured over time is its sheer deliciousness.

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Tom Collins Cocktail glass

Tom Collins

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
5 from 2 votes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gin, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup, soda water, tom collins
Servings: 1
Author: Paul Kushner
Find out how to make the traditional Tom Collins cocktail—a blend of gin, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water—with this easy recipe. Fit for a queen at any party!


  • Fill your shaker with ice.
  • Pour in the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  • Shake it up until it's well mixed and chilled.
  • Strain it into a tall glass filled with fresh ice.
  • Top it off with soda water.
  • Garnish with a lemon slice and a cherry.


Is it possible to make it without booze?

Of course! All you need to make a delicious lemon soda is to omit the gin.
What happens if I don’t own a shaker?

Not a problem. Just mix everything in the glass really well.
Can I use lemon juice from a bottle?

Fresh is best, but bottled will do in a pinch.
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let us know how it was!
Tom Collins
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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