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Tom Collins

A tried and true recipe of the classic cocktail.

By Pat Nourse
  • Serves 1
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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 a good ratio of strong/sour/sweet – 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.