Time for a Drink: Tom Collins

Time for a Drink: Tom Collins
  • Yield:makes 1
  • Active time:4 minutes
  • Total time:4 minutes
This recipe appears in:
How Old Mr. Boston Got His Groove Back

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

I'll go out on a limb here and assume it's still summer around the country--even if it doesn't feel like that where I am in Seattle, with our overcast skies and highs in the mid-60s. While I'm seething with envy at everyone with seasonally appropriate Labor Day weather, I'll offer up a true summer classic that seems custom-built for a long holiday weekend at the close of summer.

Quick Tom Collins History

The Tom Collins dates back more than a century and a half, but its welcoming crispness keeps it fresh always. So established in the libational world, the Tom Collins even has its own eponymous glass (tall, with plenty of room for ice). Over the years, the drink has faced some challenges--bottles of Holland House Collins Mix in my parents' liquor cabinet spring to mind. Was squeezing a lemon really so difficult? But successfully navigating its course from horse-and-carriage days to the digital age, the Tom Collins is built for survival. Keep some lemons and soda water on-hand this weekend and knock together a Collins in between grilling stints.


  • 2 ounces gin
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (preferably superfine)
  • Chilled club soda


  1. 1.

    Add gin, lemon and sugar to a Collins glass and stir to dissolve sugar (you can instead use simple syrup and make the process easier). Fill glass with large chunks of ice and top with chilled club soda. Insert straw and do what comes natural.

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