Tom Collins Cocktail


This Tom Collins recipe makes the classic gin cocktail that was created in the late 1800s and is said to have been named after a widespread practical joke that swept the country. This cocktail, however, is no joke.

Prep Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
5 mins

Make mixologist-worthy Tom Collins in the comfort of your own home with this easy Tom Collins cocktail recipe.

What Is a Tom Collins?

Tom Collins is a gin-based cocktail made with lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda. It's served over ice in a Tom Collins glass.

Tom Collins is not named after a real person. Though the recipe likely originated in London, the cocktail's name probably comes from a practical joke that took New York and Philadelphia by storm in the 1870s.

It went like this: Someone would ask their friend, "Do you know Tom Collins?" When the friend said they did not know Tom Collins, the prankster would say that the nonexistent man was going from bar to bar telling lies about him.

The joke was so widespread it was dubbed The Great Tom Collins Hoax of 1874.

Tom Collins Ingredients

These are the ingredients you'll need to make a homemade Tom Collins cocktail:

· Ice: Traditional Tom Collins cocktails are served over ice.
· Gin: Opt for a dry London gin.
· Lemon: You'll need lemon juice for the drink itself and a wedge for garnish.
· Simple syrup: Use store-bought simple syrup or make your own at home.
· Club soda: Club soda is what gives the Tom Collins its signature fizz.

How to Make a Tom Collins

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make a Tom Collins at home:

1. Fill a glass with ice and place the glass in the freezer.
2. Combine the gin, lemon juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake.
3. Strain the drink into the chilled glass, top with club soda, and garnish.

How to Serve a Tom Collins

The Tom Collins cocktail is served in a Collins glass (a cylindrical glass that's narrower than a traditional highball glass) over ice. Garnish the drink with a lemon slice or wedge. Some people like to add a maraschino cherry, but it's not required.

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 2 ½ cups ice, divided

  • 2 fluid ounces gin

  • ¾ fluid ounce lemon juice

  • ½ fluid ounce simple syrup

  • 2 fluid ounces club soda

  • 1 lemon wedge


  1. Fill a Collins glass with 1 1/2 cups ice; set aside in the freezer.

  2. Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add 1 cup ice, cover, and shake until chilled.

  3. Strain into the chilled Collins glass. Top with club soda and garnish with lemon wedge.

    close up view of a glass of tom collins cocktail garnished with a slice of lemon

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

191 Calories
13g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 1
Calories 191
% Daily Value *
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 21mg 105%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 49mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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