Tom Collins
Tom Collins

Enjoy a refreshing Tom Collins cocktail on a bright summer’s day. It’s a lemonade spiked with gin, simple syrup for a little sweetness and seltzer for fizz – summer is calling.

Everyone’s favorite Tom Collins is a sparkling sour drink with a refreshing kick, a bright summer cocktail that couldn’t be easier to mix.

A gin fizz, sparkling sour or a simple spiked lemonade, the Tom Collins goes by many names, but it’s a classic no matter how you shake it. Old Tom Gin, lemon juice, cold seltzer and some sweetener over ice in a tall glass and you have a drink that’s somehow both a simple pleasure and a well-crafted work of art.

A Tom Collins calls for gin as the only base spirit, typically a London Dry like Beefeater. Use Old Tom Gin if you have it. If you want to explore gin a little more, try one of these Gin of the Month Clubs, where you can sample craft gin to find your personal favourite.

The dance partner for gin is fresh lemon juice, with a sweetener like plain syrup or even maple syrup to balance it all out.

If you want to get creative, you can mix fresh lemon wedges with granulated or caster sugar, but from there the only trick is to sweeten your cocktail just enough to tone down the citrus without sweetening the whole drink.

Top it all off with just a few ounces of a well-carbonated club soda.

The Mystery of a Sublime Tom Collins

The difference between a deliciously passable Tom Collins and a memorable one can only be a matter of moderation, especially when it comes to sweetening and chilling.

If you sweeten too much, the beauty of a good gin will overwhelm you. Diluting your mix too much by shaking it too vigorously with ice will result in a drink that is both less fizzy and less pronounced in flavor.

  • Sweeten to your liking, but I’d say less is more.
  • Don’t shake your drink for more than five seconds – just long enough to cool it down.

Best gin for a Tom Collins

Look for Old Tom Gin first, it’s less pungent and drier than London Dry, it pairs really well with fresh citrus, rounding out all the edges while still having some character. Hayman’s is an affordable option, widely available, and honestly makes a great Tom Collins. If you’re looking for a commonly used gin that’s easy to find, try Beefeater.

How to Garnish a Tom Collins

You can take a classic approach or add some sophistication to your drink. I’ll outline three options below, but of course you’re free to come up with your own personal favourite.

  • Stick a lemon slice or wheel along the side of the glass
  • Poke a cherry through a folded lemon or orange wheel
  • Dip a thinly sliced ‚Äč‚Äčlemon wheel in sugar and fry in a hot pan until the sugar begins to caramelize around the edges

The Collins Glass

One of the few drinks served in a glass to bear his name, The Tom Collins (and all variations listed below) is served over thick ice in a Collins glass, a taller glass just a notch narrower than a high ball If you don’t have one of these, by all means use what you have, but look for a glass big enough to warrant a straw.

Tom Collins Variations

If you change your base spirit, you’ll end up with a different Collins. Here are a few variations to try:

  • Sandy Collins: Scotch Whiskey
  • John Collins: Genever
  • Pedro Collins: Rum
  • Jack Collins: Apple brandy
  • Pierre Collins: Cognac

More refreshing summer cocktails

  • Frozen siesta cocktail
  • Planter Punch Cocktail
  • Strawberry Basil Moscow Mule
  • Mojito
  • Mai Tai cocktail

Tom Collins

preparation time
5 minutes

total time
5 minutes

1 serving

1 cocktail


  • 2 ounces Old Tom gin

  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

  • 2 ounces seltzer

  • lemon wheel and cherry wisps for garnish


  1. Put the ingredients in the shaker and shake the cocktail:

    In a shaker half filled with ice, combine the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake until just cool to the touch, about 5 to 10 seconds.

  2. Strain the cocktail:

    Strain the cocktail into the chilled Collins glass filled with ice.

  3. Top up with lemonade and garnish:

    Top cocktail with seltzer. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a cherry plume. Surcharge.

nutritional information (per serving)
352 calories
2g Fat
70g carbohydrates
7g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!