How To Make A Tom Collins – Mixology 101

How To Make a Tom Collins by

The Tom Collins is a popular mixed drink, and for good reason. It’s a delicious drink that can be made with ingredients found in almost any typical bar setting. The combination of Gin, lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water make for a very refreshing beverage. Overall it’s a very light gin-sour style cocktail so it’s perfect for relaxing after a hard days work.

History Of The Tom Collins

Before we delve too much into the makings of this cocktail we should talk about where the name comes from. The drink belongs to the Collin’s family of drinks and is first noted in 1876 by Jerry Thomas. Other drinks from this family include the Vodka Collins, Summer Collins and the Juan Collins. Although the exact origins of the drink are mostly unknown, similar style of Collin’s drinks can be found in writing as early as 1874. Although it’s origin was mostly lost in time due to events like the prohibition, the drink can still be found in almost any bar or club today.

How To Make a Tom Collins Cocktail

Before we lay out the ingredients we should mention that there’s many different styles and variations of this drink. So we’ll lay out both the “original” recipe and the more common one found in today’s bars. The original recipe has a much higher alcohol content than the modern one

Original Recipe Tom Collins

  • 5-6 dashes of gum syrup( A simple sweetener syrup of sugar/water/gum arabic)
  • The juice from a lemon
  • A glass of gin
  • 3 lumps of ice

Modern Tom Collins

  • ice cubes
  • 2 ounces of dry gin
  • 2 ounces of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar syrup
  • soda water
  • slice of lemon
  • 1 colored cherry


Once all the ingredients are nearby the crafting of this cocktail is simple.

  1. Add ice to glass
  2. Add all liquid ingredients
  3. Stir well
  4. Add garnish

The type of gin you use in crafting this cocktail is all up to personal taste. However typically you want a more subtle flavor to blend with the lemon juice for an easy drinking taste.