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Tom Collins: The Underrated Summer Drink You Need To Try Now

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Miami (OH) chapter.

Looking for a fresh, bubbly drink now that the weather is finally starting to warm up? If you love sippin’ on Gin and Tonics or Mojitos, the Tom Collins is your go-to drink this summer. Making a Tom Collins is so simple and the taste is fizzy, refreshing, and perfect for summer days poolside with your girlfriends. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 ounces of London dry gin (any name-brand gin works)
  • 1 teaspoon of superfine sugar
  • Club soda
  • ½ ounce lemon juice

Add together all ingredients in a Collins class filled ¾ with cracked ice. Stir, then add in the club soda (or seltzer). Decorate with a lemon (or orange) slice and maraschino cherry and serve with a stirring rod. For ultimate class, buy some Collins Straws (about 8 inches tall).

HC Tip: Go to a local Restaurant Supply store or visit The Webstaurant Store online for a box of 500 straws for under $5, much cheaper than you would pay at a liquor store. Bonus: You’ll have enough to last you all summer (think Tom Collins’ all day everyday!).

Don’t drink? No worries, the non-alcoholic version is equally as good. Just skip the gin, double the amount of lemon juice and sugar, add fizzy water, and stir. Essentially, you’ve got a bubbly lemonade with a splash of sophistication.

Another version of this drink is replacing the superfine sugar with Simple Syrup, which dissolves much faster than table sugar.

For Simple Syrup, sprinkle granulated sugar into an equal amount of hot water (heat water in kettle), place in squeeze bottle and stir or shake until you can’t see any of the sugar. Refrigerate. Add this Simple Syrup to your Tom Collins in place of superfine sugar for a natural, super-sweet taste.

There are a number of alcohol substitutions you can tweak the recipe with, depending on your preference. Substitute whiskey for the gin, and you’ve got a John Collins. Or, replace gin with brandy for a Brandy Collins. A substitute of tequila for the gin is called a Juan Collins.  

When you RSVP to your BFF’s summer soiree, declare yourself in charge of drinks for the night. Hit your local grocery store, bring over all necessary ingredients to your BFF’s house, and surprise everyone with the new “It Guy”: Tom Collins.