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Tom Collins

Looking for a tasty cocktail to beat the heat? Want something easy, fun, and delicious? Well, look no further than the classic Tom Collins!


This drink was made for the summer. Just think of it as lemonade with a special kick! Nothing hits like a Tom Collins when you’re wanting to relax by the pool, sit outside in your favorite lawn chair, or when you’re hosting a party. It’s a versatile beverage that everyone can enjoy.

The origins of the drink are still disputed to this day. It made its first publication appearance in Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bar Tender’s Manual Or How to Mix Drinks of the Present Style (1882). While the drink is named for 19th century waiter John Collins, debate still surrounds its true origins, as the drink may have originated earlier from other popular gin drinks of the period. Indeed, patrons took to the name Tom Collins as the drink originally called for Old Tom gin.

The Tom Collins is closely related to another drink called a John Collins (bourbon whiskey instead of gin), and is also related to the Vodka Collins (vodka instead of gin). These drinks all fall can be categorized as sour cocktails, which are cocktails that contain lemon or lime juice, sugar (in any form), and water (carbonated or not). The Tom Collins can also be considered a highball drink, as this beverage contains a large proportion of a non-alcoholic mixer to go along with the alcohol base (in this case, gin).

History and categories aside, the Tom Collins is tasty and incredibly easy to prepare. You don’t even need to use a shaker to mix the ingredients. All you need to do is add everything into your glass, stir, and enjoy! For specific instructions, please see below:

This cocktail only requires four tools:

  • glass (preferably a Collins glass, but any tall glass will do)
  • jigger (a one ounce shot glass will do in a pinch)
  • single lemon press squeezer (or your bare hand, if you’d prefer!)
  • long stirring spoon (even a long teaspoon will do)

Your ingredients list is just as easy as your required tools:

  • Lemons
  • Gin (London Dry)
  • Simple Syrup
  • Tonic Water (any carbonated water, like club soda, will be fine, too!)


  1. Fill your Collins glass with ice (larger ice is preferred, as it will resist melting too quickly and watering down the drink).
  2. Add 2 ounces of gin
  3. Add 1 ounce of fresh squeezed lemon juice
  4. Add 1 ounce of simple syrup (adjust for sweetness)
  5. Fill up the glass with your tonic water
  6. Stir
  7. Garnish it with a lemon wheel (optional)
  8. Enjoy!


We suggest that you try our Spicy Tom Collins. It’s got all of the above, along with an additional kick that packs tons of flavor (and, of course, some heat). Please check out this recipe here.

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