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Named after a hoax that was going around New York in 1874, the Tom Collins has immortalised itself into one of the most iconic gin cocktails known today.

To make the sugar syrup

  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar

  • 50ml/2fl oz water

To make the cocktail

  • 2 handfuls ice

  • 60ml/2fl oz Dartmouth English Gin

  • 30ml/1fl oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Soda water, to taste

  • Lemon slice, to garnish (optional)


  1. For the sugar syrup, put the caster sugar in a small non-stick saucepan over a medium heat and pour in the water. Stir and bring to the boil.

  2. Once the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear, take the pan off the heat and leave to cool.

  3. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour 15ml/1 tablespoon of the cooled sugar syrup into the shaker with the gin and lemon juice. Shake vigorously for 8-10 seconds.

  4. Strain the mixture into a Collins glass over fresh ice using a cocktail strainer and a fine mesh strainer. If you don’t have a strainer, any kitchen sieve will work just as well.

  5. Top with the soda water and give the drink a gentle stir to combine everything. Garnish with a lemon slice if using.

Recipe Tips

Try flavoured syrups to put your own twist on this classic drink, or if you like your cocktails a little more sour, then half the amount of the syrup and adding a pinch of salt before shaking.

Scale up the syrup ingredients with a ratio of 2:1 if you’d like to make more. It’s easier to make in larger batches and keeps for at least 2 weeks in the fridge.

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