Simple John Collins Bourbon Cocktail Recipe

You’ve probably heard of a Collins cocktail, it comes in many forms and has a long rich history. Today I’m sharing a simple and delicious recipe for the John Collins, a bourbon cocktail. Plus a little history on the Collins drink family.

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A Tom Collins, the original cocktail in this family, is an infamous gin based drink dating back to the mid 1800’s. Since then varieties involving all kinds of spirits have come onto the scene.

Try a few of these gin drinks

The drink is essentially gin, lemon juice and simple syrup served over ice in a tall glass. The glass, in fact, is referred to as a collins glass. It is tall and slim and looks great with a few simple garnishes on top. These glasses work for any drink that calls for a tall glass, a set like this is nice to have on hand.

Vary the spirit in a Collins drink, try vodka, whiskey or even tequila, for a refreshing and classic cocktail. All Collins drinks will have a combination of lemon and simple syrup, a sour drink at its core.

John collins ingredients

Bourbon Cocktail

Bourbon is a whiskey made in the US and is filled with the flavors of the oak barrels it is made in. Since bourbon is so flavorful, it doesn’t need much in the way of mixers to be enjoyed. The simple John Collins recipe is ideal for preserving the flavor of the bourbon while adding complimentary citrus notes.

If you are a fan of bourbon, try this Cherry Bourbon Smash or a simple Whiskey Fizz. Both are easy to make and pair simple flavors and sparkling water to enhance the taste of the bourbon.

john collins bourbon cocktail recipe

John Collins Bourbon Cocktail

Yield: 1
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Club soda
  • Lemon slice
  • Maraschino


    1. In an ice filled shaker, shake bourbon, lemon juice and simple syrup.
    2. Strain into a tall glass filled with ice.
    3. Top with club soda and stir gently.
    4. Garnish with a slice of lemon and maraschino cherry.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 169Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 0g

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A John Collins is a simple cocktail with a refreshing taste. The rich flavor of the bourbon is enhanced by the citrus of the lemon. Adding club soda or sparkling water, instead of a heavier mixer keeps this drink light and refreshing.

At Home Bartender Tip: Keep a bottle of simple syrup on hand for this drink, and so many more, it’s a key staple in your home bar.

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John collins bourbon cocktail

If you are a fan of bourbon, try this hot toddy on a cold night to warm you up.

Hot toddy cocktail recipe

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