Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe

A refreshing cocktail made of gin, lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water, the Tom Collins is named after a peculiar and amusing incident in history. The Tom Collins hoax of 1874 was a prank that people played on each other, by initiating conversations about a non-existent person named Tom Collins. The joke became so widespread, and gained so much popularity, that even newspaper articles were printed regarding false sightings of Tom Collins.

The first recipe for the Tom Collins cocktail appeared in the 1876 edition of Jerry Thomas’ “The Bartender’s Guide”. Since then, the drink has been altered and tweaked a great deal, before reaching its present state. Although it is not a very common cocktail anymore, the Tom Collins still makes for a refreshing summer drink, and given its history, could be a great drink to have on occasions like April Fool’s day.

Preparation Time: 3 minutes
Serving Size: Serves 1 person
Utensils: Collins glass, stirring rod, cocktail mixing glass, strainer

– 1 ½ oz gin
– 1 oz lemon juice
– ½ oz sugar syrup
– Club soda
– Lemon slice for garnish
– Ice cubes


  • 1

    Start by putting a Collins glass or a highball glass in the refrigerator to cool. A properly chilled serving glass adds to both the taste and visual appeal of a drink, so make sure you give it about 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator.

  • 2

    Now you can begin preparing your drink. Take a cocktail mixing glass (make sure it is absolutely clean, as any additional flavours could taint the cocktail), and fill about half of it with ice cubes. Cracked ice will also work fine for this purpose, but might water the drink down a bit.

  • 3

    Then, once the mixing glass is packed with the ice, proceed to pour the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup into it. Use your stirring rod to swirl everything around until all the ingredients are completely mixed and the drink is thoroughly blended.

  • 4

    Now, take your chilled serving glass out of the refrigerator, hold a strainer over it (to catch any shards of ice, or lemon seeds), and pour your blended drink into the glass. Then, top it off with some club soda.

  • 5

    Finally, garnish the drink with a lemon slice, and if you wish, you can also add two to three ice cubes to the glass. Your Tom Collins cocktail is now ready – serve chilled.

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