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John Collins Recipe

A variant on the classic Tom Collins, this John Collins recipe is less acidic than its closely related brother, and many prefer it to the original.

Like many of the early cocktail recipes, there's a rhyme, presumably to help the bartender remember how he's supposed to make it. These rhymes also served to advertise the brand of gin used, which would've been Old Tom, so they were generally encouraged by the distilleries who made them. Given that a good proportion of bartenders couldn't read particularly fluently, word of mouth was more important than advertising in the early days as well. Ultimately, you're reading this, which shows how far we've come along.

John Collins Recipe


  • Collins glass
  • 1 double shot of Liverpool gin
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of simple syrup
  • 1 double shot of carbonated water
  • Dash of Angostura bitters
  • Ice
  • Lemon slice to garnish

How to serve it

  • Add the ice to the glass and then pour all the ingredients in.
  • Stir, garnish and serve.

If you substitute soda water for the carbonated water in this John Collins recipe, you have a Tom Collins, and adding cherry liqueur gives you a gin punch. Ultimately, it's a recipe that can be experimented to produce different tastes, so if you use Tarquin's blackberry gin or That Boutique-y Gin Company spit-roasted pineapple gin instead, you'll end up with a much fruitier cocktail. An aged gin will add a smoky flavour instead.