Rum Collins


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Rum Collins_001


Rum Collins

Discover the Rum Collins, a classic cocktail that’s perfect for any occasion. This refreshing drink is a delightful twist on the traditional Tom Collins, substituting rum for gin to create a sweet and citrusy experience. Whether you’re lounging by the pool or hosting a festive gathering, the Rum Collins is sure to impress.

With its effervescent charm and tropical notes, this cocktail is a crowd-pleaser. Read on to learn how to craft this simple yet sophisticated beverage that’s bound to become a staple in your cocktail repertoire.

Key Facts About the Rum Collins

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 14% ABV
  • Calories: Around 150 kcal per serving
  • Glass Type: Traditionally served in a Collins glass
  • Typical Garnish: Lemon wheel and maraschino cherry

Interesting Facts about the Rum Collins

  • The Rum Collins is a variation of one of the oldest cocktail families, the Collins family, which dates back to the 19th century.
  • While the original Collins was made with gin, the Rum Collins brings a Caribbean twist to the table, making it a favorite for rum enthusiasts.
  • The cocktail’s popularity soared in tropical regions, where rum was more readily available than gin.

Rum Collins Cocktail

Tasting Notes

The Rum Collins is a symphony of flavors, balancing the sweetness of rum with the tartness of fresh lemon juice. The addition of simple syrup smooths out the edges, creating a harmonious blend that’s both invigorating and satisfying.

Its light and bubbly nature, thanks to the club soda, makes it an ideal choice for daytime events or as a palate cleanser. If you’re a fan of citrus-forward cocktails with a hint of sweetness, the Rum Collins will not disappoint.

This cocktail is versatile, suitable for casual get-togethers, elegant dinners, or as a refreshing treat on a warm day. Its simplicity and elegance make it a timeless choice for any occasion.

History of the Rum Collins

The origins of the Collins family of cocktails can be traced back to the 1800s, with the first recorded recipe appearing in Jerry Thomas’s 1876 bartending guide. The traditional Collins is made with gin, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water.

As rum became more accessible, particularly in the Caribbean and American coastal regions, bartenders began experimenting with this spirit. The Rum Collins emerged as a popular alternative, offering a sweeter and more tropical profile than its gin-based counterpart.

Over the years, the Rum Collins has seen various adaptations, but its core elements remain the same. It’s a testament to the cocktail’s adaptability and enduring appeal.

Rum Collins Ingredients

  • Light Rum (2 oz): The base spirit, light rum, provides a smooth and slightly sweet foundation for the cocktail.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice (1 oz): Adds a bright, citrusy zing that perfectly complements the rum.
  • Simple Syrup (1/2 oz): Offers a touch of sweetness to balance the tartness of the lemon juice.
  • Club Soda: Tops up the drink, adding effervescence and lightness.
  • Ice Cubes: Keeps the drink chilled and dilutes it to the perfect strength as they melt.
  • Garnishes: A lemon wheel and maraschino cherry add a pop of color and a hint of additional flavor.

Did you know? The Rum Collins is often associated with the laid-back lifestyle of the Caribbean, where rum is a staple spirit.

Preparing Rum Collins

Rum Collins Method

Creating the perfect Rum Collins is a straightforward process that requires attention to detail. Here’s how to do it:

  • Preparation: Begin by filling a Collins glass with ice cubes to ensure your drink stays cool.
  • Mixing: Pour the light rum, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup over the ice. Stir the mixture well to integrate the flavors.
  • Finishing Touches: Gently top up the glass with club soda, being careful not to disturb the carbonation too much. Garnish with a lemon wheel and a maraschino cherry for a touch of elegance.

It’s important to serve the Rum Collins immediately to enjoy its refreshing qualities at their peak.

Serving Suggestion

The Rum Collins is traditionally served in a Collins glass, which is tall and narrow, allowing the carbonation to remain intact for longer. The shape of the glass also provides ample room for ice, keeping the drink cool.

Garnishes play a crucial role in the presentation and aroma of the cocktail. The lemon wheel adds a fresh scent with each sip, while the maraschino cherry provides a sweet finish.

Elevating the Rum Collins

To take your Rum Collins to the next level, consider these professional tips:

  • Use Premium Rum: Opt for a high-quality light rum to enhance the smoothness and flavor profile of the cocktail.
  • Fresh Ingredients: Always use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled for the best taste.
  • Homemade Syrup: Make your own simple syrup to control the sweetness and quality of the sugar used.

These small adjustments can make a significant difference in the overall experience of enjoying a Rum Collins.

Rum Collins Cocktail Served

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Rum Collins

If you’re missing an ingredient or want to try something new, here are some substitutions and alternatives:

  • Alternative Sweeteners: If simple syrup isn’t available, consider using honey, agave nectar, or a sugar cube dissolved in a bit of water.
  • Other Citrus Juices: While lemon is traditional, lime juice can offer a different twist on the classic flavor.
  • Similar Cocktails: If you enjoy the Rum Collins, you might also like the Mojito or the Daiquiri, which share rum and citrus as common ingredients.

These variations can help you customize the cocktail to your taste or make use of what you have on hand.

Add a Twist

As an expert mixologist, I recommend these creative spins on the Rum Collins:

  • Spiced Rum: Use spiced rum for a more complex, warming flavor, especially suitable for cooler months.
  • Herbal Infusions: Infuse the simple syrup with herbs like basil or mint for an aromatic twist.
  • Fruit Purees: Add a splash of fruit puree, such as mango or pineapple, for a tropical variation.

These twists can transform the Rum Collins into a personalized cocktail experience.

Preferred Liquors for the Rum Collins

For the best Rum Collins, consider these rum brands:

  • Bacardi Superior: Known for its clean and crisp flavor, it’s a classic choice for light rum cocktails.
  • Mount Gay Silver: Offers a slightly more pronounced rum flavor with hints of fruitiness.
  • Havana Club 3 Años: Brings a touch of Cuban authenticity and a smooth, refined taste.

Selecting a quality rum is essential for achieving the perfect balance in your Rum Collins.

Similar Cocktails to the Rum Collins

If you’re a fan of the Rum Collins, you might also enjoy these similar cocktails:

  • Mojito: A refreshing mix of rum, mint, lime, sugar, and soda water.
  • Daiquiri: A simple yet elegant combination of rum, lime juice, and sugar, served shaken and strained.
  • Cuba Libre: A casual drink featuring rum, cola, and a squeeze of lime.

These cocktails share the Rum Collins’ spirit-forward and citrusy profile, making them excellent alternatives.

Food Pairings to go with the Rum Collins

When serving a Rum Collins, consider these food pairings:

  • Seafood: The cocktail’s citrus notes complement seafood dishes like shrimp cocktail or ceviche.
  • Spicy Appetizers: The refreshing nature of the Rum Collins can balance the heat of spicy snacks like jalapeño poppers.
  • Fruit Platters: Fresh fruit enhances the tropical vibe of the drink, making for a light and enjoyable pairing.

These pairings are sure to delight your guests and elevate the overall tasting experience.

Rum Collins FAQs

  • Can I make a Rum Collins in advance? It’s best to make the Rum Collins fresh to preserve the carbonation and freshness of the ingredients.
  • What if I don’t have a Collins glass? Any tall glass will work, but the shape of the Collins glass is ideal for maintaining the drink’s characteristics.
  • Is it necessary to use fresh lemon juice? Yes, fresh lemon juice is key to achieving the bright, zesty flavor of a Rum Collins.
  • Can I use dark rum instead of light rum? While you can, it will significantly alter the flavor profile, resulting in a heavier and more molasses-forward cocktail.
  • How can I adjust the sweetness? Modify the amount of simple syrup to taste, adding more for sweetness or less for tartness.


Rum Collins_001

Rum Collins

The Rum Collins is a refreshing and effervescent cocktail that offers a tropical twist on the classic Tom Collins. By substituting rum for gin, this drink becomes a sweet and citrusy concoction that's perfect for sipping on a hot day or at a lively party.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 150 kcal


  • Collins glass
  • Bar spoon or stirrer
  • Straw


  • 2 oz light rum
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Club soda to top up
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon wheel, for garnish
  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish


  • Fill a Collins glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour the light rum, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup into the glass.
  • Stir the mixture well.
  • Top up the glass with club soda.
  • Garnish with a lemon wheel and a maraschino cherry.
  • Serve immediately with a straw.


If you prefer a sweeter drink, you can adjust the amount of simple syrup to taste. Conversely, if you like it more tart, feel free to increase the lemon juice. Always use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.
Keyword Citrus, Classic Cocktail, Highball, lemon juice, Refreshing, Rum, Rum Collins, Simple Syrup, Soda Water

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