The Tom Collins is a simple, yet refreshing classic cocktail that’s perfect for warm sunny days. My family has always been obsessed with the Tom Collins because it’s citrusy and really easy to make. You can of course take the shortcut and buy Collins mix and make the drink with gin or vodka OR you can make it from scratch with fresh lemon juice, sugar, and a little club soda. Guess which I prefer?
How to Make a Tom Collins
The Tom Collins cocktail is traditionally made with gin, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and club soda for a little fizz. It sounds like spiked lemonade, to be honest however the gin adds some nice botanicals that give it a little something extra. While the drink is typically made with gin, you can also swap out with vodka—also known as a Vodka Collins.
The cocktail is traditionally garnished with a lemon wheel and a cherry. I like to use a brandied or Luxardo cherry so I don’t look like a 9-year-old!
Making Your Own Simple Syrup
Simple syrup or simple sugar is the key to any sweetened cocktail. Why? Liquid sugar syrup easily mixes/dissolves into the cocktail instead of sinking to the bottom like granulated sugar. You can buy it, but it’s REALLY easy to make at home with equal parts of very hot water and regular sugar. That’s right 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water renders about 2 cups simple sugar.
You can make it on the stovetop on medium-low heat OR you can make it by heating water in the microwave and adding sugar (use a Pyrex). Heat in 15 seconds intervals and stir until sugar is fully dissolved.
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The Tom Collins is a refreshing classic cocktail made with gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda.
- 2 ounces gin or vodka (I like Hendrick’s)
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1–2 ounces club soda
- Lemon wheel and brandied/Luxardo cherry for garnish
- Add all ingredients (except soda) to a Collins glass filled with ice. Stir until mixed.
- Top with 1-2 ounces of club soda and stir again. Add more to taste if needed.
- Garnish with a lemon wheel and cherry.
You can make your own simple syrup with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup hot water. Stir until sugar is fully dissolved. This drink can also be made with vodka.
- Serving Size: 1 cocktail
- Calories: 201
- Sugar: .6g
- Sodium: 17mg
- Fat: 0.2g
- Saturated Fat: 0.2g
- Carbohydrates: 0mg
- Fiber: 0.1g
- Protein: 0.2g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: vodka collins, tom collins