Cocktail & Other Recipes Cocktail Type Modern Classic

6 Collins-Style Cocktails to Try Right Now

So simple yet so delicious.

Sloe Gin Fizz
Sloe Gin Fizz. Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

A whole family of Collins cocktails exists—John, Ron, Michael and so on—but the most well-known is the classic Tom Collins. The Collins formula is simple: a base spirit, citrus, a sweetener and a carbonated ingredient; shake all but the carbonated beverage, strain into a tall glass over ice, then add the bubbles. 

The brilliance of this classic format is that it’s approachable for a home cocktail enthusiast who’s just beginning to try their hand at cocktailing, but its potential is vast. Split the base, add a liqueur, blend your citrus or add a fortified wine—the riffs are virtually endless.

To inspire you beyond the classic Tom Collins, we’ve rounded up six variations to try whenever you’re looking to make something new.

  • Cucumber & Rose Collins

    Cucumber Rose Collins

    Liquor.com 

    The name alone says it all. This Collins marries floral and clean vegetal notes using a rose syrup and fresh cucumber water to complement the botanicals of the gin base. The extra effort it takes to make the ingredients is well worth it, as this cocktail makes the perfect palate cleanser.

    Get the recipe.

  • High King Highball

    High King highball
    Jenny Adams

    The High King Highball was created by the co-owner of New York City’s Pouring Ribbons, Joaquín Simó. A fruity apple-forward Irish whiskey base is paired with Aperol, muddled raspberries, lemon and grapefruit juices, simple syrup, Peychaud’s bitters and soda water. It’s juicy, visually appealing and guaranteed to turn whiskey doubters into believers.

    Get the recipe.

  • Paloma

    Paloma

    Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

    When people think of tequila cocktails, the Paloma is one of the first that comes to mind, behind the queen Margarita, of course. It’s a simple formula of tequila, lime juice and grapefruit soda, but it delivers on all fronts: It’s herbal, vegetal, fruity and slightly tart. If you’re a fan of mezcal, swap it in for the tequila for a drier, smokier, earthier take on the classic Collins-style cocktail.

    Get the recipe.

  • Pear & Elderflower Collins

    Pear & Elderflower Collins

    Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

    This drink from award-winning bartender Naren Young pairs tree-fruit and floral notes to create an elixir evoking fall flavors. It can be made with either vodka or gin, but the latter will provide more depth and nuance to this fizzy sour. He adds elderflower liqueur, pear two ways (purée and liqueur), lemon juice and honey syrup, then tops it all with club soda.

    Get the recipe.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • Spiced Apple Fizz

    Spiced Apple Fizz cocktail

    Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

    This flavor-packed fizz, another from Young, pairs a delicate vanilla-forward bison grass vodka with pear brandy, cider, fresh lemon juice and honey syrup. The deployment of cider as the lengthener for this Collins-style cocktail adds sweetness and a crisp acidity, making it the perfect cooler.

    Get the recipe.

  • Sloe Gin Fizz

    Sloe Gin Fizz

    Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

    Long an English autumn staple, sloe gin is a sweet and tart gin that’s infused with dark sloe berries to create a lush red liqueur with strong notes of gin botanicals. It gained popularity in the early 20th century, only to fall by the wayside by the 1960s. In recent years, however, the spirit has enjoyed an impressive revival and can now be found on cocktail menus all over the world. While this drink is sometimes made with egg white, this version keeps it simple in a Collins-style format and is a great low-ABV sipper.

    Get the recipe.