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Tom Collins Drink – Refreshing Summer Highball Cocktail Recipe

Looking for a perfect spring or summer time cocktail recipe? The Tom Collins drink is a refreshing gin highball that is an excellent cocktail for hot summer evenings.

This recipe uses a combination of simple sugar and lemon juice with gin and club soda.

The Tom Collins is one of the best everyday cocktails and is a great way to enjoy a tall drink that is easy to make.

Keep reading to find out how to make this popular summer drink.

Overhead shot of Tom Collins with lemon and cherries.

Why is it called a Tom Collins?

There is a bit of debate about the Tom Collins history. The cocktail is thought to have originated in the US in the mid-19th century. There are a few theories as to the name of it.

One popular thought is that the Tom Collins cocktail was actually named after a popular practical joke of the time which included using the name Tom Collins. Another theory suggests that the Tom Collins cocktail was named after a specific type of gin called “Old Tom” gin, a slightly sweeter type of gin.

No matter the true origin of the name “Tom Collins”, there is no dispute that it’s a popular summer drink. Luckily for you, it’s not necessary to visit a bar to enjoy a Tom Collins drink. This recipe is super easy to make!

Graphic with a highball and list of Tom Collins ingredients.

What is in a Tom Collins drink?

Indulge in the refreshing flavors of a Tom Collins cocktail with our delightful recipe.  A classic Tom Collins cocktail recipe typically includes the following ingredients:

  • Gin: The choice of gin can vary depending on personal preference, but London dry gin is commonly used.
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice: This provides some tartness as well as a citrus flavor to the drink.
  • Simple syrup: It is made with a mixture of equal parts sugar and water, which are dissolved together. This adds sweetness to the cocktail.
  • Club soda: Used as a mixer to add fizz and height to the drink.
  • Ice: This will help to chill the cocktail.
  • Garnishes: A Maraschino cherry and lemon slices are often used.

Variations of the recipe for a Tom Collins drink exist. You can use different types of gin or add additional ingredients such as orange liqueur or bitters. However, the classic recipe outlined above is a good starting point for making a traditional Tom Collins.

Tom Collins drink – Easy to make Highball Sour

Fill a highball glass ice cubes to chill it. Combine the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup over ice in a cocktail shaker.

Shake to mix well and strain into the highball glass over ice. Be sure to leave a bit of room at the top for your garnishes.

The resulting drink is a refreshing and tangy highball that is sure to please.

Share this Tom Collins drink recipe on Twitter

If you enjoyed making the ultimate Collins cocktail, be sure to share the recipe with a friend. Here is a tweet to get you started:

Quench your thirst with the classic #TomCollins cocktail! 🍹💦 This timeless recipe combines fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin in a highball glass. Perfect for #summersipping! Cheers to a taste of sophistication! #cocktailrecipe Click To Tweet

Palm tree and beach tree with Moscow mule and words More Summer Cocktails.

More refreshing cocktails for summer

Summer cocktails are known for their refreshing and vibrant flavors, often incorporating seasonal fruits, herbs, and cooling ingredients. Here are some more to try:

Pin this recipe for a summer highball drink

Would you like a reminder of this recipe for a classic Tom Collins drink? Just pin this image to one of your cocktail boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

classic Tom Collins highball with lemon slices and a cherry.

Admin note: this Tom Collins cocktail recipe first appeared on the blog in April of 2013. I have updated the post to add all new photos, a printable recipe card, and a video for you to enjoy.

Yield: 1

Tom Collins Recipe - Refreshing Summer Highball Cocktail

Tom Collins in a glass with ice, lemon and a cherry.

A Tom Collins highball is a classic cocktail that dates back to the 19th century. It is a refreshing, tart drink typically made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda and served in a tall glass.

It's super easy to make and perfect for a hot summer evening.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz sugar syrup
  • 6 ounces Club soda
  • One Maraschino cherry
  • Lemon slices for garnish


  1. Fill a highball glass ice cubes to chill it.
  2. Combine the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup over ice in a cocktail shaker.
  3. Shake to mix well and strain into the high ball glass with the ice.
  4. Top with club soda.
  5. Leave some room at the top for your garnishes.
  6. Garnish with slices of lemon and a cherry.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 0g

Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.

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