Vodka Collins Cocktail

Vodka Collins cocktail in a highball glass garnished with orange slices and cocktail cherry

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
149 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 149
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 15mg 75%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 81mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The vodka collins is a simple, refreshing, and popular mixed drink. Made with vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, and club soda, it's really just a sweet and sour vodka soda (and just as easy to mix up). The quick but charming cocktail is a perfect happy hour choice for vodka drinkers, and its clean, crisp taste makes it ideal for dinner.

This recipe follows the formula common in the collins family of drinks: spirit, sour, sweet, soda. It's nearly identical to the Tom Collins (gin) and the John Collins (whiskey) and simply uses vodka as the base spirit. If you want to stick with proper names, this recipe is also called a Joe Collins, though that name is rarely used.

While almost any vodka will do, this drink is rather transparent. It will only be as good as the liquor you pour—there's no way to hide a less-than-stellar vodka choice. That said, you don't have to overthink this. Any of the popular premium vodkas are good options. Choose wisely when it comes to budget-friendly vodkas; they're not all worthy of clear drinks like the vodka collins.


How to Make a Vodka Collins Recipe

"Like the Tom Collins, the vodka collins is a symbol of simple and pristine refreshment. Using vodka instead of gin makes this version more streamlined, it's like a sparkling lemonade with a kick. But that's a bad thing. Use fresh juice and measure your ingredients so the balance of sweet and tart is on point." —Tom Macy

Vodka Collins Cocktail Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka

  • 1 ounce lemon juice

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup, 2:1 ratio

  • 3 to 5 ounces club soda, to taste

  • Orange slice, for garnish

  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for vodka Collins recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. In a collins glass filled with ice cubes, pour the vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Stir thoroughly.

    Ice cubes, vodka, lemon juice, and simple syrup being stirred in a glass with a spoon

    The Spruce Eats

  3. Top with club soda.

    Club soda being poured into glass with cocktail mixture

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Garnish with a orange slice and cherry. Serve and enjoy.


  • Fresh-squeezed lemon juice is highly recommended. Half of the average lemon should yield enough juice for one drink.
  • Adjust the sweet and sour proportions to find the taste that best suits you.

Recipe Variations

  • Add a splash of flavor by switching to your favorite flavored vodka. Any fruit flavor works well, though it's not the best drink for whipped cream and other sweet vodkas.
  • Eliminate the lemon juice and simple syrup and use 1 1/2 ounces of a homemade sour mix instead. Limoncello is another interesting substitute for the two ingredients.
  • Give the vodka collins an herbal twist by infusing the syrup with herbs. Lavender, mint, or rosemary syrup are all excellent choices.
  • For a sugar-free cocktail, skip the sweetener and enjoy a lemon-kissed vodka soda or switch to a sugar-free syrup.
  • Try the ultra-refreshing cucumber collins with cucumber, lime, and mint.
  • The almost a collins is filled with flavor, mixing blood orange juice and soda with cinnamon syrup.

How Strong Is the Vodka Collins?

You can make the vodka collins as tall or short as you like by adjusting the amount of club soda. As the average 6-ounce drink, it's rather light with an alcohol content in the 9 percent ABV (18 proof) range. That places it between beer and wine.