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Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe | Refreshing Gin-Based Drink

Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe | Refreshing Gin-Based Drink

Key Takeaways

Key PointsDetails
Type of DrinkGin-based cocktail
Prep Time5 minutes
Serving SizeOne cocktail
Calories200 kcal
Special TipUse fresh lemon juice for the best flavor


Welcome to another exciting edition of YourNewFoods.com, your go-to resource for mouth-watering recipes and delightful drinks from around the globe. Today, we are diving into the world of gin-based cocktails with a classic favorite: the Tom Collins.

What is a Tom Collins Cocktail?

The Tom Collins is a cocktail made primarily with gin, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water. It’s a refreshing, fizzy drink perfect for sipping on a hot summer day or as a palate cleanser before a meal.

Why are Tom Collins Cocktails So Popular?

The popularity of Tom Collins lies in its simplicity and versatility. It’s easy to make, and the combination of sweet and sour flavors is universally appealing. If you’re a fan of botanical cocktails, this drink will certainly tickle your fancy.

What are the Benefits of Making Tom Collins at Home?

Making a Tom Collins at home allows you to control the quality of ingredients, adjust the sweetness and sourness to your liking, and experiment with different variations. Plus, it’s a great addition to your repertoire of cocktail recipes.

two tom collins cocktails with orange and a black background


Here’s what you’ll need to make a Tom Collins:

Gin2 oz
Lemon Juice1 oz
Simple Syrup0.5 oz
Soda WaterTo top
Ice CubesAs needed
Lemon SliceFor garnish

Cheers to a refreshing, gin-based experience! If you loved this, don’t forget to explore our other cocktail recipes.


What Each Ingredient Brings to the Recipe

  • Gin: Provides the botanical backbone of the cocktail.
  • Lemon Juice: Adds a tangy, citrusy kick.
  • Simple Syrup: Balances out the acidity with sweetness.
  • Soda Water: Adds effervescence and dilution.
  • Ice Cubes: Keeps the drink chilled.
  • Lemon Slice: Aesthetic and aromatic garnish.

How Long to Prepare and Servings

  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes
  • Servings: 1 cocktail
lemon juice

Hints and Tips

  • Use high-quality gin for a more refined taste.
  • Always use fresh lemon juice instead of bottled.
  • Check out this Easy Minty Lime Mojito Recipe if you want more summer cocktail ideas.
Simple syrup


  • Tom Collins with a Twist: Add a splash of your favorite fruit juice.
  • Herbal Tom Collins: Infuse the gin with herbs like rosemary or thyme for an aromatic experience similar to a Thyme Tequila Twist Cocktail.
soda watwer in a dispenser and a cocktail shaker

Serving Suggestions

Serve in a highball glass with a lemon slice and a straw. Perfect with light appetizers or as a stand-alone refresher.

ice cubes

Nutrition Values and Calories


Calories200 kcal

Difficulty Level


Making a Tom Collins is incredibly easy. If you can pour and stir, you’re set!

lemon slices


This cocktail is best enjoyed fresh and is not suitable for long-term storage.

two tom collins cocktails

History of the Tom Collins Cocktail

The story of the Tom Collins cocktail is as effervescent as the drink itself. It’s a tale that brings us back to the 19th century, with various legends and anecdotes adding to its allure.

The Birth of Tom Collins

The cocktail is believed to have originated in England, gaining its first wave of popularity in London’s bustling social scene. 

The name “Tom Collins” first appeared in writing in Jerry Thomas’s 1876 edition of “The Bartender’s Guide.” 

However, there are claims that the drink existed even before this publication, under different names like “John Collins,” named after a headwaiter at a London hotel.

The Tom Collins Hoax of 1874

An interesting chapter in the history of this cocktail is the “Great Tom Collins Hoax of 1874” in the United States. 

A popular prank involved telling someone that a man named Tom Collins was bad-mouthing them. 

The person would then go from bar to bar searching for this nonexistent man, only to be served the cocktail instead. 

This ingenious marketing stunt helped popularize the drink across the Atlantic.

The Prohibition Era and Beyond

During the Prohibition Era, the Tom Collins found a home in speakeasies where gin was easier to produce than other spirits. 

The cocktail’s simple ingredients made it a popular choice, as they were readily available even in times of scarcity. 

After Prohibition ended, the Tom Collins solidified its place in American cocktail culture and continued to be a staple in bars worldwide.

Modern Day Reverence

Today, the Tom Collins has not only endured but thrived, becoming a symbol of timeless elegance. 

Whether enjoyed in a high-end cocktail bar or made at home, its simplistic charm and refreshing taste have earned it a place in the annals of cocktail history, right alongside classics like the Negroni and Classic Margarita.

tom collins cocktail


The Tom Collins is a classic cocktail that never goes out of style. It’s refreshing, easy to make, and highly customizable. 

Whether you’re a cocktail aficionado or a novice, this gin-based delight is worth trying.

two tom collins cocktails with orange


Can I use lime instead of lemon?

Yes, a Lime Daiquiri variation can be made using lime juice.

What can I use instead of gin?

Vodka or tequila can be used for a different flavor profile.

Is it similar to a French 75?

Both are gin-based and citrusy, but a French 75 includes champagne.

How can I make a non-alcoholic version of Tom Collins?

You can replace the gin with non-alcoholic gin or simply omit it for a refreshing lemon soda.

What type of gin works best for a Tom Collins?

A dry gin is traditionally used, but feel free to experiment with your favorite brand or a botanical gin for a unique twist.

Can I use bottled soda water or should it be freshly carbonated?

Either works fine, although freshly carbonated soda water may offer a more effervescent fizz.

Is there a difference between a Tom Collins and a Gin Fizz?

Both are similar but a Gin Fizz is usually served in a shorter glass and may include egg white for frothiness.

How can I make a large batch of Tom Collins for a party?

Multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you need and mix in a large pitcher. Add the soda water just before serving to maintain fizziness.

Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe | Refreshing Gin-Based Drink

Recipe by Chris Cooper
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: DrinksCuisine: EnglishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time




  • 2 oz 56.7 ml Gin

  • 1 oz 28.35 ml Lemon Juice

  • 0.5 oz 14.17 ml Simple Syrup

  • Soda Water (To Top)

  • Ice Cubes (As needed)

  • Lemon slice for garnish


  • Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  • Combine 2 oz of gin, 1 oz of lemon juice, and 0.5 oz of simple syrup in a shaker.
  • Shake well until chilled.
  • Strain the mixture into the highball glass.
  • Top with soda water.
  • Garnish with a lemon slice.
  • Stir gently and enjoy your Tom Collins!

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