How To Make A Tom Collins From Scratch?

The Tom Collins is a time-honored cocktail that has been savored for over a century. With its blend of gin, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water, this cocktail is ideal for sipping on a warm afternoon or evening.

Making a Tom Collins from scratch enables you to customize the ingredients to your liking and appreciate this famous cocktail’s immutable, pure flavors. This article, will explain how to make a tom collins from scratch.


  • 2 oz (60 ml) gin
  • 1 oz (30 ml) citrus juice newly pressed
  • 1/2 oz (15 ml) Simple syrup, or more if desired.
  • Club soda (carbonated water)
  • Ice blocks
  • Citrus wheel or a cherry (as a garnish)
  • Collins stemware

How To Make A Tom Collins From Scratch?

Here are the step by step to make a tom collins from scratch


Step 1: Prepare Your Glass

Picking the right medium is very important. A Collins glass, which is also called a highball glass, is the best thing to serve a Tom Collins in. Its tall, thin form lets you put the right amount of ice and ingredients in it.

To chill the glass, fill it with ice cubes and leave it aside while the cocktail is prepared. Glassware that has been chilled keeps beverages chilly for longer.

Step 2: Make Simple Syrup

  • Preparing simple syrup, a typical cocktail sweetener is exceedingly simple. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water in equal amounts.
  • Use 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water for a larger quantity that can be refrigerated and used for future cocktails.
  • Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Typically, this takes only a few minutes.
  • After the sugar has broken down, take the pan off the heat and let the simple syrup cool to room temperature. It will last longer if you store it in a clean bottle or jar with a lid.

Step 3: Squeeze Fresh Lemon Juice

  • To extract the most liquid from a fresh lemon, roll it on the countertop while applying gentle pressure. This will assist in removing the liquid from the pulp.
  • Using a citrus reamer or extractor, extract 1 oz (30 ml) of fresh lemon juice from a halved lemon. Blain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve or a citrus juicer to remove seeds and debris.

Step 4: Mix The Cocktail

  • Combine 2 oz (60 ml) of gin, 1 oz (30 ml) of freshly strained lemon juice, and 1/2 oz (15 ml) of the simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
  • Personalize the quantity of simple syrup to your liking. Add more simple syrup if you prefer your Tom Collins to be sweeter.
  • Fill the cocktail shaker with ice. The ice freezes the ingredients and helps dilute and balance the flavors by slightly diluting the cocktail.

Step 5: Strain Into Glass

  • Remove the ice from the chilled Collins glass to prevent the cocktail from becoming overly diluted.
  • Strain the shaker’s contents into the glass. This process ensures your Tom Collins is free of ice fragments and citrus residue.

Step 6: Top With Club Soda

  • Carefully fill the glass with club soda (soda water) until it is nearly filled. The Tom Collins is given its signature froth by the carbonation of the club soda.
  • You can adjust the quantity of club soda to adjust the alcohol content and carbonation level of your beverage.

Step 7: Garnish

  • Garnish your Tom Collins with a lemon wheel and, if desired, a maraschino cherry to enhance its visual appeal and flavor.
  • As you sip your cocktail, the lemon wheel adds visual allure and releases a fresh citrus aroma.

Step 8: Final Touches

  • Stir the cocktail gently using a long bar utensil. This ensures that all ingredients are properly combined and proportioned.

Step 9: Serve

  • Serve your guests a homemade Tom Collins with a straw and savor it while it’s still cold and refreshing.


Creating the ideal Tom Collins from the beginning can be a rewarding experience. Here are some suggestions for mastering this classic drink:

1. Use Quality Ingredients

For the finest flavor, begin with high-quality gin and freshly squeezed lemon juice. These primary ingredients significantly impact the taste of your Tom Collins.

2. Balance The Sweetness

Personalize the quantity of simple syrup to your liking. If you prefer a sweeter drink, add more syrup, but don’t overuse it, as the cocktail’s sweetness should be balanced.

3. Chill Your Glassware

Before preparing the cocktail, chilling the Collins glass with ice crystals ensures that the beverage will remain colder for longer. Empty the ice just before straining the cocktail mixture.

4. Shake Vigorously

Shake the cocktail with ice vigorously for approximately 10 to 15 seconds. In addition to chilling the ingredients, this effectively dilutes and combines them.

5. Strain For Clarity

Pour the cocktail into the glass through a fine-mesh sieve or a Hawthorne strainer. This helps remove any ice fragments or debris, resulting in a crystal clear drink.

6. Choose The Right Soda Water

Choose premium club soda or soda water. Different brands’ carbonation levels and mineral content can affect your Tom Collins flavor.

7. Garnish Thoughtfully

Tom Collins garnishes typically include a lemon wedge and a maraschino cherry. In addition to enhancing the drink’s appearance, these contribute aroma and a touch of sweetness.

8. Experiment With Garnishes

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your embellishments. Add a sprig of fresh mint or a twist of lemon zest to the traditional presentation for a unique twist.

9. Use Plenty Of Ice

Before pouring the cocktail into your Collins glass, fill it with ice. This not only helps maintain the carbonation of the seltzer water but also helps keep the beverage cold.

10. Serve Promptly

Tom Collins is best served immediately following preparation. The drink can become more watered as ice melts, so consume it quickly.

Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or just starting in cocktails, making a Tom Collins from scratch is a rewarding experience that yields a delightfully effervescent drink. By following our detailed instructions, you can create a classic Tom Collins that encompasses the essence of this enduring beverage.

Read More: What Can You Make with Cream of Mushroom Soup? 

Leave a Comment