Tom Collins Recipe

A classic Tom Collins Recipe is one of the most beloved classic cocktails. A refreshing combination of citrus and herbal flavors balanced out by a crisp, effervescent fizz. Whether you’re looking for a summery refresher or a delicious happy hour sipping drink, this one is sure to please.

Classic cocktails never go out of style! Check out our new favorite, this creamy White Russian drink, or for a fruitier flavor, try this tropical Mai Tai!

Tom Collins in a glass with lemon and cherry garnish

What Is A Tom Collins?

A Tom Collins cocktail is a gin based drink that is served in a “collins” glass…typically what we call a highball. This drink recipe was created in England way back in the 1800’s by a man named Jim Collins. “Tom” reportedly came from a gin named “Old Tom Gin” which was used in this deliciously refreshing beverage.

Tom Collins Ingredients

The ingredients for this cocktail are very simple, but because they are so simple they do need to be the best quality!

  • Gin: You can use any brand of gin that you like, a classic gin would be my go to for this drink recipe but if you like a more floral or fruity gin that would work well in this recipe, too.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: Please use fresh! It really makes such a difference in this Tom Collins drink because of the few ingredients that it has.
  • Seltzer: Any type of plain, unflavored seltzer of club soda.

How To Make A Tom Collins

A Tom Collins cocktail is so simple to make, I really don’t know why we don’t have them all the time. Any time of the year, works for me too. Let’s not save these tasty beverages just for summer time!

Start by pouring gin into a highball (or collins glass) over ice. Like we mentioned before, gin can range a lot in flavor from a mild gin to a piney, fruity gin. Experiment with a few and see what you like best!

Fresh lemon juiced being squeezed into a glass to make a Tom Collins

Now add that fresh lemon juice! You can squeeze it right into the glass if there aren’t any seeds and you have an idea on the measurements. It’s a little less than an ounce of lemon juice for this drink and we find that a half of a medium sized lemon works well.

Top off the cocktail with your seltzer or club soda of choice. There are tons of options here and one of the things we look for is the level of carbonation. Some seltzer will have a much higher carbonation than others, so it depends on what you like.

Gin is the base of a Tom Collins cocktail recipe

How To Serve A Tom Collins

To serve this cocktail, add a wedge of lemon and a cherry for garnish. I’ve seen A Tom Collins served with and without cherries, but always a lemon wedge. So that part is up to you, but I like the pop of color that a cherry adds to this drink when you serve it.

What could be easier than that? I love the fact that even as long as we’ve been making cocktails here on the site there’s always something new that goes on our happy hour list!

A Tom Collins cocktail with a lemon wedge and a cherry for garnish

Appetizers To Serve With A Tom Collins

Oh man, we love coming up with appetizers for happy hour! Some of the best nights are when you have a few cocktails and some epic apps and call it a night. A few different tastes of everything and a Tom Collins (or two) and I’m good to go!

As far as what to serve with a Tom Collins cocktail, I think you can really go wither way here. Keep it light with a few low carb or simple appetizers or bring out the rich, cheesy sausage appetizers to cut through the fresh lemon juice and the strong gin flavor.

We’ll start with the “light” appetizers:

Getting into the “richer” flavored appetizers: (AKA, cheesy, buttery, beefy goodness)

A Tom Collins cocktail with a lemon wedge and a cherry for garnish

Tom Collins Recipe

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Drink 1x

A Tom Collins Cocktail Recipe is a delicious gin drink with fresh lemon juice and seltzer! A refreshing cocktail for any time of the year!



  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Plain seltzer or club soda for topping
  • Lemon wedges and cherries for garnish


  1. Add ice to a highball glass.
  2. Pour in the gin and lemon juice, then top with seltzer.
  3. Stir and garnish with a lemon wedge and a cherry (if desired)
  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: American

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