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Tom Collins Recipe

Updated on August 4, 2008

Delicious Tom Collins Drink on a Hot Day

Photo courtesy of Daniel Nguyen
Photo courtesy of Daniel Nguyen

How to Make a Tom Collins Drink

The Tom Collins drink is an official International Bartenders Association cocktail drink. The essential ingredients in a Tom Collins recipe are gin and lemon juice. It is not difficult at all to learn how to make a Tom Collins drink.

A Tom Collins is an excellent cocktail drink recipe to use during the hot months of summer. If you haven't tried a Tom Collins cocktail, it tastes just like delicious lemonade to me with no noticeable alcohol taste. But watch out- these can sneak up on you for this very reason!

So, here is how to make a Tom Collins recipe with the traditional Tom Collins ingredients.

Tom Collins Ingredients

2 ounces gin

1 ounce lemon juice, (freshly squeezed, if possible)

1 teaspoon confectioner's sugar

Club soda

How to Mix a Tom Collins Drink

Add the first three ingredients for your Tom Collins drink to a cocktail shaker half filled with ice cubes. Shake vigorously long enough to chill, about 30 seconds.

Pour the strained cocktail ingredients into a Tom Collins glass or similar tall glass filled almost to the top with ice cubes. Top off with the club soda. Stir and serve with a straw.

Possible garnishes for your Tom Collins drink are an orange or lemon slice. Some people add a maraschino cherry.

Vodka Tom Collins and Other Variations of the Tom Collins Recipe

One of my favorite variations of a Tom Collins recipe is a Vodka Tom Collins drink. Simply replace the gin with vodka. I love vodka drinks, so I admit that I enjoy Vodka Tom Collins drinks even better than the traditional Tom Collins drink. Try mixing with flavored vodkas, too, for even more ways to experiment with a traditional Tom Collins recipe.

Background of the Tom Collins Drink Cocktail

Where did the name for the Tom Collins drink originate? No one knows for sure. There are two main theories about the name of a Tom Collins cocktail. Most claim that the Tom Collins drink was named after an old brand of sweet gin called 'Old Tom'. Some people say that the name of the Tom Collins drink cocktail came from the creator of the popular cocktail. Who created it? No one knows that, either.

Enjoy a Tom Collins Drink the Easy Way

If you don't want to learn how to mix a Tom Collins drink, there are plenty of Tom Collins drink mixes where you simply add the alcohol. They taste really nice, but a traditional Tom Collins recipe has them beat.

Tom Collins Recipe Comments

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    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 

      10 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen's gin? Hard to imagine what this will taste like, but I'm game for a fresh different summery cocktail...It's always 5 o'clock/cocktail hour somewhere!

    • Karen N profile image

      Karen N 

      10 years ago from United States

      You know ,I havent' had a Tom Collins in years!But it is a really good drink, thanks for the recipe.

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      10 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      Of all the drinks I made while I owned my restaurant and brew pub, Tom Collins was the most popular from about 1984 to 1990. Then it kind of fizzled. That said, a well-made Collins is a nice drink to have when in conversation with others. You can sip it and make it last a long, long time!

      We also had a local variation called a Bob Collins, named by customers after the popular, late Bob Collins of WGN radio. It used lime juice instead of lemon juice.


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