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Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe – Simple 4 Ingredient Highball

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Tom Collins, one of the oldest gin highballs around, and definitely something to sip on year-round. It’s refreshing and requires 4 ingredients you might already have at home. 

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Tom collins

What is Tom Collins ?

Tom Collins is an old highball that combines gin, club soda, lemon juice, and simple syrup. The names comes from the original recipe which used Old Tom gin – a sweetened, darker gin with a far less pronounced botanical flavor. However Old Tom is harder to find nowadays and the general customer preference is for dry gin (either London dry or just dry). But the name has stuck. 

tom collins 2

Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe

Ioana Ciuraru
A perfect gin cooler.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 1


  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz simple syrup
  • club soda to top


  • Build in ice-filled Collins glass.
  • Stir lightly before adding club soda.
  • Top with as little or as much club soda you want.


This can be a long drink, or you can keep it just a little fizzy. It all depends on how much room you've got left in the glass, and how much soda you add.

When is this drink best ?

Tom Collins works great in any season and any time of day, seeing as it’s a highball and quite casual. It’s a great drink if you’re out partying, or just having dinner in town, or even a wedding’s open bar. 

My thoughts on Tom Collins

I liked Tom Collins a lot, especially the spiciness that comes from pairing botanical gin with zingy lemon juice; they just work so well together. Add to that the bubbly sparkling water or club soda, and you’ve got a drink that’s hard not to love. 

The sweetness from the simple syrup is just right, it’s not overpowering and it does make this resemble a gin fizz (minus the egg foam). 

tom collins making

If you like Tom Collins, you might also like…

Gin and tonic – just gin and tonic water (highball)

Bee’s Knees – a Tom Collins with honey syrup and without club soda

Blueberry Gin Tonic – a gin and tonic with blueberry syrup

Raspberry Lime Rickey – a gin rickey with raspberry

Strawberry Lime Rickey – a gin rickey with strawberry syrup

Rum Collins – a Tom Collins with rum

Notes, substitutes, and tips

The club soda is there to add carbonation and to be neutral. You can easily use sparkling water instead, and if you use seltzer you just need to be aware of the higher salt content. Tonic water would also work here, but it will change the taste of Tom Collins. 

I’ve made this into a highball, as is usual. But you can reduce the club soda content and serve this as a lowball if you want an overall stronger drink. 

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