Skip to content

Tom Collins

The Tom Collins cocktail is a well-known long drink made with gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and soda water. The drink had its heyday in the 1960s and 1970s. However, with the advent of rum and other Caribbean cocktails, the Tom Collins fell out of the sight of many cocktail lovers. Today, the Tom Collins cocktail recipe is also experiencing a kind of rebirth due to the gin hype. Today, it can be found on various cocktail menus of well-known and unknown cocktail bars.

Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe

  • 6 cl Old Tom Gin
  • 3 cl lemon juice
  • 2 cl sugar syrup
  • Soda water

Step by Step Guide

  1. Add all ingredients except soda water to a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Shake the shaker well.
  3. Strain mix into a highball glass and top up with soda water.
  4. Strain and serve.
Tom Collins Cocktail
Recipe by Tim


The Godfather

To prepare the Tom Collins, put the gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Shake this bar accessory well for about 20 seconds. Then strain the cocktail through a strainer into a long drink glass filled with ice cubes and fill it to the brim with soda water. You are now welcome to garnish the drink with a lemon zest and/or a cocktail cherry and then serve.

Bar Accessories:

  • Long drink glass
  • Cocktail shaker
  • Ice cubes

The pleasantly fresh taste


50 Reviews

Similar to the Gin Fizz, the Tom Collins is characterised by a pleasantly fresh and not too alcoholic taste. The cocktail is incomparably mild and slightly acidic thanks to the lemon juice used. This drink is perfect for people who want to enjoy the taste of gin, but don’t like the alcoholic taste so much. The best thing is to try the gin cocktail yourself and convince yourself of its pleasant mild-sour taste.

Tom Collins Tips

Make your own sugar syrup

You often need the ingredient sugar syrup when preparing cocktails. What many people don’t know: You can easily prepare this ingredient at home. Discover our simple recipe in our blog article: Make your own sugar syrup.

Soda water with flavour

Not all soda water is the same. For example, one manufacturer adds more carbon dioxide to the water and another adds more salt. As a result, you can taste distinct differences between sodas. So first taste your way through the sodas before making cocktails with them.

Fresh organic lemons

When preparing cocktails, use fresh, organically mined lemons. These are usually much more natural in flavour than non-organically mined, old lemons. This makes the drink even more refreshing and tastes even more aromatic.

Long drinks for parties

Long drinks are particularly suitable for serving at parties. The drinks have a large filling volume and need considerably more time to be drunk. This allows you to serve many guests at once in a short time.

Historical background of the cocktail legend

Collins Cocktails were first mentioned in the year 1830 in the Hotel Limmers. At that time, mixed drinks in combination with citrus juices were becoming increasingly popular. The drinks were increasingly to be found on the menus of well-known cocktail bars. In the USA, a real run on long drinks developed. Whether the drink has been called “Tom Collins” since its invention cannot be proven beyond doubt. However, there are stories that the drink was initially called “John Collins”. The name “John Collins” goes back to the name of the inventor. This man was called John Collins and was a head waiter at Limmer’s Hotel.

He also mixed the first Collins cocktail, with Old Tom gin. After this variant was ordered over and over again, the name “Tom Collins” became established. At that time, this long drink probably served as an anti-hangover drink or as a pick-me-up before parties. However, the drink was also served and enjoyed in the morning as a breakfast cocktail. Nowadays, the mix is mostly consumed in the evening in cocktail bars or on festive occasions. Old Tom Gin is slightly sweeter than London Dry Gin and is used in this cocktail. Over time, the recipe has always changed from Old Tom Gin to regular gin. If you want to enjoy a classic Tom Collins, however, you should definitely use Old Tom Gin.

Difference between Tom Collins and Gin-Fizz

The Gin-Fizz and the Tom Collins are actually very similar cocktails. The drinks differ in the following ways:

  • More soda water is added to the Tom Collins.
  • The Tom Collins uses Old Tom Gin, the Gin-Fizz uses London Dry Gin.
  • The Gin Fizz is served in a tumbler, the Tom Collins cocktail in a long drink glass.
  • This means the Fizz is served in a smaller glass

More Drink Recipes

More Drink Recipes

Tom Collins - FAQ

Who invented the Tom Collins?

The Tom Collins Cocktail was originally prepared for the first time in 1830 in the Hotel Limmers. To this day, there are no exact details as to why or when the drink was prepared.

What is a Tom Collins?

A Tom Collins is one of the most famous gin cocktails of all, which is very simple to prepare and aromatic and pleasant in taste.

When can you drink a Tom Collins?

Due to its sweet and fresh character, this cocktail is excellent in summer or as a delicious drink in cocktail bars. You can also serve the drink very well on warm spring days.

How does the Tom Collins Cocktail taste?

The gin cocktail tastes incredibly aromatic and refreshing. The Old Tom gin and sugar syrup also add pleasantly sweet notes. In addition, the lemon juice provides a slightly sour-fresh kick.

What is the difference to the Gin Fizz?

Both cocktails are very similar. However, the Gin Fizz is made with London Dry Gin (and not Old Tom Gin) and with more soda water. Also, the fizz is often served in a tumbler rather than a long drink glass.

How do you prepare a Tom Collins?

To make the gin cocktail, combine Old Tom gin, lemon juice and soda water. Then strain the drink into a long drink glass and fill it to the brim with soda water. Then strain and serve.