To make a Tom Collins, combine 2 ounces of dry gin, 1 teaspoon of superfine sugar and 1/2 ounce of lemon juice in a Collins glass filled 3/4 with ice. Stir lightly, top with seltzer or club soda, and garnish with a lemon circle.
Some Tom Collins recipes call for slightly less gin, more lemon juice and simple syrup, but the three main ingredients never change. For a tarterTom Collins, stir 1 1/2 ounces of gin, an ounce of lemon juice and a 1/2 ounce of simple syrup in a Tom Collins glass with ice. Top with club soda, and garnish with a circle of lemon, an orange or a Maraschino cherry.
You also can substitute various components of any Tom Collins recipe to slightly alter the flavor of the finished product. Popular variations include the Whiskey Collins, also known as a John Collins, the Rum Collins, which has light rum, and the Charlie Collins, which contains Jamaican rum.
Gin Fizz and Gin Rickey are other close siblings of Tom Collins. To make a Gin Fizz, use the same ingredient amounts for a Tom Collins, shake the gin, lemon juice and superfine sugar with cracked ice. Pour the drink into a chilled Collins glass, and add club soda to the top.
For a Gin Rickey, squeeze half of a lime into a Collins glass filled with ice, add 1 teaspoon of superfine sugar, and stir. Add 2 ounces of dry gin, the squeezed half of lime, and top with any bubbly water.