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Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe

Aug 19, 2017 | Post By Danny Mahoney
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The Tom Collins is a go-to classic for Gin lovers everywhere. It’s a sweet alternative to a Gin and Tonic, and the perfect refresher when the sun’s out and you’re about to collapse into a deck chair.

The drink was originally thought to have been called a John Collins, which is made exactly the same way using a dryer Gin. The name was probably changed after an early recipe called specifically for the use of Old Tom Gin, which was slightly sweeter than the Hollands being used in the popular Gin punches of the late 19th century. The John Collins is the one listed as an “Unforgettable” on the International Bartenders Association list of official cocktails.

Image of Tom Collins   Drink

To make things even more complicated, some bartenders in America call a Collins made with Rye a John Collins. Both England and America claim to have invented the first Tom Collins, and the true origin of the drink is now lost to history.

The Collins family of drinks are all made by mixing some form of alcohol with lemon juice and sugar. A Ron Collins uses Rum, a Michael Collins uses Irish Whiskey, and a Juan Collins is made with Tequila. All are tart, tasty, and served in a tall glass with plenty of ice.

Here’s the recipe for a classic Tom Collins drink:


  • 45ml Gin
  • 30ml Lemon juice
  • 15ml Sugar syrup
  • 60ml Soda
  • Dash of Aromatic Bitters
  • Lemon slice to garnish


  1. Fill a highball glass with ice
  2. Add the Gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup
  3. Stir gently
  4. Top with soda
  5. Add a dash of bitters
  6. Garnish with a slice of lemon


  • Highball glass
  • Ice
  • Cocktail spoon



Photo of Danny Mahoney

Danny is a Melburnian liquor enthusiast and ex bartender turned web developer. Although an avid whiskey drinker he likes to practice the arts of cocktail making and mixing drinks. Danny believes there are always new concoctions just waiting to be explored and enjoyed.


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