While we’ve made several versions of a Collins (my personal favorite being with cranberries), we’ve never actually done a post on a traditional Tom Collins— the shame! This classic cocktail combines gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water for a refreshing drink.

Fog Cutter Cocktail

Tom Collins cocktail, copyright A Bar Above 2021

This Collins was first written about by the famous Jerry Thomas in 1876 and then by Harry Johnson in 1882– so you see how far back the history goes! The origin tale is that a bartender named John Collins developed this cocktail and named it after himself– but everyone kept asking for a “Tom Collins” instead of a “John Collins” because it was often made with Old Tom gin. Whoops! 

Well, sorry John Collins, but the Tom Collins version is here to stay. Whatever you call it, it’s simply delicious. Not dissimilar to a gimlet– which uses lime juice instead of lemon– the Tom Collins falls into the Collins category of cocktails (base spirit, lemon, sugar, carbonated water) and is typically served in a Collins glass (or highball glass).

Fog Cutter Cocktail

Copyright A Bar Above, 2021

Light and refreshing, this is the perfect cocktail for a hot day or when you need a little lemon in your life. And just look how beautiful our new gold cocktail picks look in this cocktail! Enjoy!

Boston Shaker

4 PIECE CRAFT BAR SET

The best of the basics. This core kit includes the three tools you need to make most common cocktails: a trusty two-piece Boston shaker, a Hawthorne strainer with extra-tight spring and a two-sided Jigger with measurement lines all the way down to 1/4 oz!

Print Recipe
Tom Collins
Build in a shaker tin (except the soda), give a light shake, and strain into Collins glass. Then add soda.
Tom Collins
Servings
cocktail
Ingredients
Servings
cocktail
Ingredients
Tom Collins
Instructions
  1. Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a Boston shaker filled with ice
  2. Shake lightly to chill and dilute
  3. Strain with a Hawthorn strainer into a Collins glass
  4. Add soda water
  5. Garnish with a lemon wheel
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