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Tom Collins

Australian Gourmet Traveller cocktail recipe for Tom Collins

By Pat Nourse
  • Serves 1
Tom Collins
Tom Collins

One of the great drinks of summer, the Tom Collins is one of the taller and more famous members of the sours family. The core sour formula – basically the strong/sour/sweet ratio we talked about in the introduction – forms the basis for many of the great classics. A whiskey sour, for instance, is basically 8 parts bourbon or rye shaken with 2 parts lemon juice and one part sugar syrup (sometimes a dash of raw eggwhite is added to thicken and smooth the drink) served on ice. A daiquiri, meanwhile, is just a rum sour made with lime juice strained into a martini glass. Use brandy as the base, lemon as the citrus and substitute Cointreau for the sugar and you've got a Sidecar; tequila, lime and Cointreau and you've got a margarita; gin, lemon and maraschino liqueur and it's the great Aviation. Balance is everything with sours; given differing qualities of different brands of the same spirit and that every lemon and lime is different, use the recipe below as a guide, but keep tasting and adjusting until the drink is balanced to your satisfaction.


  • 60 ml gin (¼ cup)
  • 35 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 20 ml sugar syrup
  • To serve: soda water
  • To garnish: lemon slices


  • 1
    Add gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup to a shaker half-filled with ice. Stir to combine, strain into a tall glass with fresh ice cubes, top with soda, garnish with lemon slices and serve.
  • Author: Pat Nourse