Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe

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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.

Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe

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?

If you enjoyed this cocktail, you should also try the Corpse Reviver 2 and the French 75 cocktail, both are similar citrus-forward gin cocktails.

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!

Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe

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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Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe

Servings: 1 cocktail
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
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: 1cocktailCalories: 201kcalProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 17mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenswagger or tag #kitchenswagger!

About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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