how to make a tom collins

How to Make a Tom Collins: Impress Your Guests with This Refreshing Classic

Tom Collins Cocktail: Impress Your Guests with This Refreshing Classic

 how to make a tom collins

Everything You Need to Know About How to Make a Tom Collins

Imagine a warm summer evening. Laughter fills the air as you chat with loved ones on your patio. The sun dips below the horizon, casting an orange glow on the scene. You reach for a tall glass, condensation clinging to its surface, and present a refreshing Tom Collins – a timeless gin-based cocktail that's as light and bubbly as the conversation. Creating this delightful drink at home allows you to be the star of your own social gathering, without the hefty price tag of a bar.

The Tom Collins boasts a rich history, dating back to the 1870s. Its exact origins are a bit murky, but what's certain is its enduring popularity. This bright and citrusy drink is a perfect choice for anyone who enjoys crafting classic cocktails at home.

So, how do you impress your guests with this iconic beverage? Let's delve into the world of the Tom Collins, exploring its ingredients, recipe, and secrets to creating an applause-worthy presentation.

What Is a Tom Collins?

The Tom Collins belongs to the Collins family of cocktails, known for their refreshing combination of sour, sweet, and soda water (source: Allrecipes). This particular drink features gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda. The tartness of the lemon juice is balanced by the sweetness of the syrup, while the gin adds a distinctive botanical flavor. The bubbly club soda creates a light and effervescent finish, making the Tom Collins a perfect warm-weather companion.

Tom Collins Ingredients

how to make a tom collins

Here's a breakdown of the ingredients you'll need to craft this classic cocktail:

  • Gin: The foundation of the Tom Collins, gin offers a complex flavor profile with notes of juniper, citrus, and various botanicals. Opt for a high-quality London Dry Gin for the best results.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a vibrant tartness that balances the sweetness of the simple syrup.
  • Simple Syrup: This readily available or easily made ingredient (see recipe below) provides the necessary sweetness to the drink.
  • Club Soda: The magic ingredient that transforms the Tom Collins into a bubbly and refreshing beverage. Choose a high-quality club soda for the best results.
  • Garnish (optional): A lemon wedge or maraschino cherry adds a pop of color and complements the flavors in the drink.

How to Make a Tom Collins

Crafting a Tom Collins is a breeze, allowing you to focus on entertaining your guests. Here's a step-by-step guide:


  • 2 ounces Gin
  • 1 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ ounce Simple Syrup
  • Club Soda, to top
  • Lemon Wedge or Maraschino Cherry (for garnish)


  1. Chill the Glass: Fill a tall Collins glass with ice cubes. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the glass to chill. Discard the ice water before adding the drink.
  2. Combine Ingredients: In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds, until the drink is well chilled and diluted.
  3. Strain and Top: Strain the contents of the shaker into the chilled Collins glass. Top the drink with club soda, gently stirring to combine.
  4. Garnish (optional): Add a lemon wedge or maraschino cherry for a decorative touch.

How to Serve a Tom Collins

how to make a tom collins

Presentation is key when it comes to impressing your guests. Here are some tips for serving your Tom Collins:

  • Use a Tall Glass: The classic Tom Collins is served in a tall Collins glass, showcasing the beautiful layers of the drink.
  • Ice Matters: Use large, clear ice cubes that melt slowly to prevent the drink from becoming watered down.
  • Fresh Garnishes: Opt for fresh lemon wedges or maraschino cherries for a burst of color and aroma.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Calories: 130
  • Total Fat: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 14g
  • Sugars: 11g

Please note: This is an approximate nutritional value based on a standard recipe. Values may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.


There you have it! With a little practice, you'll be whipping up Tom Collins cocktails like a seasoned bartender, leaving your guests in awe of your mixology skills. The best part? You can create this refreshing beverage from the comfort of your own home, saving money and personalizing the experience to your taste.

So, the next time you gather with loved ones, ditch the bar tab and embrace the joy of home bartending. Who knows, you might even discover a passion for crafting your own signature cocktails!

how to make a tom collins

Ready to elevate your home bartending skills beyond the Tom Collins? Barprints offers a comprehensive online bartending course, "Mixology Mastery," that equips you with the knowledge and techniques to create an impressive repertoire of classic and contemporary cocktails. With expert instruction and in-depth exploration of spirits, ingredients, and techniques, you'll be well on your way to becoming the star of your own social gatherings.

Now that you've mastered the Tom Collins, what other classic cocktails will you conquer next?

how to make a tom collins