Vodka Collins


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Vodka Collins_001

Introduction to the Vodka Collins

The Vodka Collins, a twist on the classic Tom Collins, is a cocktail that epitomizes simplicity and refreshment. Its harmonious blend of vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water creates a drink that’s both invigorating and easy to sip. This highball is perfect for those who appreciate a cocktail that’s straightforward yet sophisticated.

With its roots in the family of Collins cocktails, the Vodka Collins offers a crisp and clean flavor profile that’s ideal for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a summer party or simply unwinding after a long day, this cocktail is sure to delight your palate.

Let’s dive into the world of this beloved highball and discover what makes the Vodka Collins a staple in the cocktail scene.

Key Facts About the Vodka Collins

  • Alcohol Content: Approximately 14% ABV
  • Calories: Approximately 150-200 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: Approximately 10-15 grams
  • Preferred Glass: Collins glass
  • Typical Garnish: Lemon wheel and maraschino cherry (optional)

Interesting Facts about the Vodka Collins

The Vodka Collins isn’t just a refreshing choice; it’s also a cocktail with a rich history and some intriguing trivia:

  • The “Collins” name comes from the use of a Collins glass, which is tall and slender, perfect for highball cocktails.
  • While the Tom Collins is traditionally made with gin, the Vodka Collins offers a neutral base that highlights the citrus and sweet flavors.
  • The cocktail’s simplicity has made it a canvas for variations, inspiring mixologists to create new twists on this classic.

Vodka Collins Cocktail

Tasting Notes on the Vodka Collins

The Vodka Collins is a cocktail that boasts a bright and zesty flavor profile. The fresh lemon juice provides a tangy punch, while the simple syrup adds a touch of sweetness to balance the acidity. The vodka, being neutral, allows these flavors to shine through without overpowering them.

This cocktail is particularly appealing to those who prefer a lighter drink that doesn’t skimp on flavor. It’s an excellent choice for warm weather gatherings, brunches, or as a palate cleanser during a multi-course meal.

Its effervescence and crispness make the Vodka Collins a versatile cocktail, suitable for a variety of occasions and appealing to a broad audience.

History of the Vodka Collins

The Collins cocktail has been a part of the mixology world since the mid-1800s, with the first recorded recipe appearing in Jerry Thomas’s 1876 “The Bartender’s Guide.” While the original Collins was made with gin, the Vodka Collins emerged as vodka gained popularity in the United States.

During the 1950s and 1960s, vodka began to outshine gin due to its neutral flavor and versatility. The Vodka Collins became a symbol of this shift, offering a refreshing alternative to its juniper-flavored cousin.

Today, the Vodka Collins remains a beloved choice for its ease of preparation and its ability to be customized to individual tastes. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless appeal.

Vodka Collins Ingredients

  • Vodka (2 oz / 60 ml): The spirit base of the cocktail, vodka provides a clean, smooth foundation.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice (1 oz / 30 ml): Adds a bright, citrusy tang that is essential to the cocktail’s character.
  • Simple Syrup (1/2 oz / 15 ml): Offers a hint of sweetness to balance the lemon’s acidity.
  • Club Soda: Tops up the drink, adding effervescence and lightness.
  • Ice Cubes: Keeps the drink chilled and dilutes it slightly as they melt.
  • Lemon Wheel: A classic garnish that adds visual appeal and a hint of extra citrus aroma.
  • Maraschino Cherry (optional): Provides a touch of color and a sweet finish.

Did you know?

“The Vodka Collins is not only a refreshing cocktail but also a versatile one; it serves as a fantastic base for experimentation with different flavors and garnishes.”

Preparing Vodka Collins

Vodka Collins Method

Preparing the Glass

Start by filling a Collins glass with ice cubes to the brim. This ensures the drink stays cold and refreshing from the first sip to the last.

Mixing the Ingredients

Pour the vodka, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup over the ice. The order doesn’t affect the taste, but adding the vodka first can help measure the other ingredients.

Stirring the Cocktail

Use a long-handled bar spoon to stir the mixture until well chilled. This blends the flavors and cools the drink without shaking, which could overly dilute the cocktail.

Adding the Club Soda

Gently top up the glass with club soda, pouring it slowly to preserve the carbonation. This step gives the Vodka Collins its signature fizz.

Garnishing and Serving

Finally, garnish with a lemon wheel and a maraschino cherry if desired. Serve immediately with a straw, allowing guests to enjoy the layered flavors.

Serving Suggestion for the Vodka Collins

The Vodka Collins is traditionally served in a Collins glass, which is tall and narrow, allowing the carbonation to remain lively throughout the drinking experience. The glass’s shape also provides ample room for ice, keeping the cocktail chilled.

Garnishes play a dual role in enhancing both the visual appeal and the aromatic experience of the drink. A lemon wheel adds a pop of color and a fresh scent, while a maraschino cherry offers a sweet note to the finish.

Elevating the Vodka Collins

  • Use Premium Vodka: Opt for a high-quality vodka to ensure a smooth taste and elevate the overall experience.
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice: Fresh juice makes a significant difference in flavor compared to bottled alternatives.
  • Homemade Simple Syrup: Making your own simple syrup allows you to control the sweetness and purity of the ingredient.
  • Chilled Club Soda: Using cold club soda maintains the drink’s temperature and fizziness.
  • Proper Ice: Clear, large ice cubes not only look better but also melt slower, preventing over-dilution.

Vodka Collins Finished Cocktail

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Vodka Collins

If you’re missing an ingredient or want to try something new, consider these substitutions:

  • Replace simple syrup with honey syrup or agave nectar for a different kind of sweetness.
  • Use lime juice instead of lemon for a Vodka Collins with a twist.
  • For a non-alcoholic version, substitute vodka with a non-alcoholic spirit or more club soda.

Similar cocktails include the Gin Fizz, Whiskey Sour, and Mojito, which share the Vodka Collins’ refreshing and effervescent qualities.

Add a Twist to the Vodka Collins

As an expert mixologist, here are a few ways to put a new spin on the classic Vodka Collins:

  • Infuse the simple syrup with herbs like basil or rosemary for an aromatic twist.
  • Add a splash of fruit puree, such as raspberry or peach, for a fruity variation.
  • Muddle fresh berries or cucumber in the glass before adding the other ingredients for a burst of flavor.

Preferred Liquors for the Vodka Collins

For the best Vodka Collins, consider using premium brands like Grey Goose, Belvedere, or Ketel One. These vodkas are known for their exceptional smoothness and clean taste, which complement the cocktail’s profile.

Similar Cocktails to the Vodka Collins

If you enjoy the Vodka Collins, you might also like:

  • The Moscow Mule, which also features vodka but with a spicy kick from ginger beer.
  • The Lemon Drop Martini, a sweet-tart cocktail that’s also lemon-forward.
  • The Sea Breeze, another vodka-based drink that combines tart cranberry and grapefruit juices.

Food Pairings to Go with the Vodka Collins

The Vodka Collins pairs well with a variety of foods, from light appetizers to heartier dishes. Here are some pairing ideas:

  • Classic: Salted nuts or potato chips complement the cocktail’s crispness.
  • Elevated: Grilled shrimp or ceviche accentuate the drink’s citrus notes.
  • Adventurous: Spicy Asian dishes provide a contrast to the cocktail’s coolness.

Vodka Collins FAQs

Here are some common questions and detailed answers about the Vodka Collins:

  • Can I make a Vodka Collins ahead of time? It’s best served fresh, but you can pre-mix the vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup and add club soda when serving.
  • What’s the best way to garnish a Vodka Collins? A lemon wheel and a maraschino cherry are traditional, but feel free to get creative with other citrus or berries.
  • How can I make my Vodka Collins less sweet? Reduce the amount of simple syrup or add more lemon juice to adjust the sweetness to your liking.
  • Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Vodka Collins? Yes, simply omit the vodka and increase the club soda for a refreshing mocktail.
  • What food goes well with a Vodka Collins? Light appetizers, seafood, and spicy dishes are all excellent choices.
Vodka Collins_001

Vodka Collins

The Vodka Collins is a refreshing highball cocktail that is a variation of the classic Tom Collins. It’s a perfect blend of vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water, making it a delightful drink for any occasion.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Servings 1 drink
Calories 150 kcal


  • Collins glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Jigger or measuring device
  • Straw (optional)


  • 2 oz vodka
  • 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 (optional)


  • Fill a Collins glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour the vodka, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup over the ice.
  • Stir the mixture with a long-handled bar spoon until well chilled.
  • Top up the glass with club soda.
  • Garnish with a lemon wheel and a maraschino cherry if desired.
  • Serve immediately with a straw.


For the best Vodka Collins, use high-quality vodka and fresh lemon juice. Adjust the amount of simple syrup to suit your taste for sweetness. Always add the club soda last to retain its effervescence.
Keyword Classic Cocktail, Cocktail, Highball, lemon juice, mixology, Refreshing, Simple Syrup, Soda Water, vodka, Vodka Collins

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