When it comes to trying a new cocktail, probably nothing is simpler than taking a dive into the Juan Collins drink. It’s a subtle twist on the classic Tom Collins cocktail, substituting whisky for tequila. This adds an exotic flavor, perfect for warm summer days or gatherings among friends.

With the distinction of being one of the simplest cocktail variations to make, one where you may have most of the ingredients already, this drink is the perfect one for building up your mixology skills or just enjoying on a hot summer’s day.

Reminiscent of the lemonade you used to drink as a kid or sell at your tiny lemonade stand, this drink isn’t only delicious with a hint of spice and heat from the tequila, it’s also nostalgic, bright, and perfect for people who like the classics but are looking for something just a little bit different. Tequila goes perfectly with citrus, so try this tequila mixed drink and find the twisted flavor of your new favorite.

What is a Juan Collins?

A Juan Collins is a similar drink to a Tom Collins cocktail, but instead of whisky, it’s made with tequila. A twist on a popular classic, this drink is the perfect summer refresher for the tequila lover. It’s lemony flavor is thirst quenching and sour, and if you’re a lover of Tom Collinses and want something just a little different, or you just love tequila, you’ll love this tequila cocktail!

The Juan Collins cocktail itself is a sweet and sour mix that combines tequila, lemon juice, a sugar or agave syrup, soda water, and fresh lemon. The result is a lemonade drink with some heat. This cocktail is not only extremely simple to make and straightforward, but, as a twist on a popular favorite, it’s one every bartender is going to know.

What Do You Need to Make a Juan Collins?

A Juan Collins is typically made with lemon juice, sugar syrup or agave syrup, depending on what’s available, and soda water. This is almost exactly the same ingredients you need to make the classic Tom Collins, but this drink is made with a special twist: tequila. A Juan Collins drink is typically served in a tall glass, just like a Tom Collins.

Mix the ingredients together in the glass and add a slice of lime or lemon and a maraschino cherry as a garnish and you have your Juan Collins! Don’t worry about making it anything fancy; you can make this drink right in the glass. Just stir it smoothly, and you’re all set.

Juan Collins Recipe

  • 45 ml tequila
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 15 ml agave or sugar syrup
  • top with soda water

Serve this tequila cocktail in a glass filled with ice and garnish with a lime and a maraschino cherry, or go simple with a lemon slice! You can use whatever tequila tickles your fancy, but if you follow this recipe, you’re sure to make it taste great. Pro tip: the best Juan Collins drink is made with fresh lemon juice, so try building your cocktail from the lemons you plan to use as a garnish!

Variations on the Juan Collins

This tequila cocktail is interesting as it itself is a variation on a popular drink, but you can try mixing things up with this tequila-based drink as well. One interesting variation would be to try is, instead of adding sugar syrup to your drink, mix in real sugar to add a sweeter taste and a more natural sweetness.

This may be difficult to make dissolve and will take quite a lot of stirring, but the taste in itself is absolutely worth it. You can also try using lemonade instead of lemon juice and syrup as a way to combine your sweet and sour and add a summer refresher to your drink. Sometimes, I like to add in pink lemonade for a bit of extra color, but I would advise adding more lemon juice if you want to try it this way — after all, it’s mostly just sugar turned pink!

Other interesting things you can do with your Juan Collins drink are change up the kind of drink you use. For a mixer that works well with tequila, try a ginger lemonade for your Juan Collins. This adds an interesting flavor and a bit of extra heat to your drink and is perfect for people who like a little bit of spice.

You can experiment a bit with adding lime juice or other little things to enhance your experience with the drink, but how you experiment is up to you and your tastes. As with all twisted faves, this is the kind of drink that you can really adjust to your own tastes because there’s really no “right” way to enjoy, as long as you do so responsibly.

Where to Find a Juan Collins

You can always make this delicious cocktail in the comfort of your own home, of course. The recipe provided above makes one glass, but you can double or triple or sextuple the recipe as required to make as many for the people around you as needed. But you don’t have to learn to be a mixologist to enjoy this cocktail.

Because the type of tequila is nonspecific, and you can find lemon juice and sugar basically everywhere, it’s very easy to order a Juan Collins cocktail at basically any bar. As it is just a twist on the classic Tom Collins tequila cocktail, and most bars are equipped for your Tom Collins tastes, they will most certainly have the Juan collins ingredients, unless they, for some reason, stock whisky but not tequila.

That is more than highly unlikely, of course!

If you ask for a Juan Collins and they don’t know what that is, it’s just as easy to say, “A Tom Collins… but with tequila!” And the recipe is basically the same. Finding this drink is very simple, and you can either make it at home or find it on your night out with relative ease.

When’s the Best Time for A Juan Collins?

There’s no bad time for a Juan Collins drink, but this tequila mixed drink is at its heart a summer drink, one that tastes just as refreshing as a cool breeze on a hot summer day. With its sweet and sour mixture and lemon juice base, this is like having an alcoholic lemonade that not only gives you a great buzz but also quenches any summer thirst.

Excellent for vacations due to how easy it is to find when you’re out at restaurants in an unfamiliar place, and perfect for get-togethers on your deck or in your backyard thanks to how easy it is to make, the Juan Collins is the ultimate drink for relaxing in the summer time.

For me, drinking this tequila mixed drink under the sun or in the perfectly cool shade, especially with my lemon, lime, and cherry garnish, reminds me of those lemonades I would buy at the local lemonade stands or the fair downtown. There’s a nostalgia to a lemonade drink, and mixing nostalgia with alcohol is the perfect way to have fun in the sun and feel like a child again.

The Juan Collins is the ideal drink for quenching a summery thirst. With its base as a lemonade like drink, this drink is perfect for when you’re really thirsty, while the alcohol gives it that bit of a kick. Tequila itself is synonymous with summer time and vacations in the Mexico sun.

Bring back memories of that spring break you took, even if the memories you bring back are spotty, while giving yourself a break from the dehydration inherent to summer. The perfect mixed drink for summer barbecues and hanging out with friends or even around an early evening bonfire, this drink is a great one for all of your drink needs.

To Whom Would I Recommend the Juan Collins?

While obviously I would recommend this drink to anyone, everyone’s tastes are going to be different. There are many perfect ways to enjoy this tequila cocktail, but I think this is a great drink for people who love the classics but want to try something a little bit different. In my experience, whisky has an extremely strong taste and a lot of people simply don’t have the palate for it and therefore won’t be able to enjoy Tom Collins cocktail.

But tequila, while also having a strong taste, is fiercely enjoyed by those who do like it, so why not introduce it someone who wants to try a tequila mixed drink but doesn’t know where to start?

Tequila is a great start for people trying something new because of its unique taste and its ability to almost perfectly mix with citrus, so this drink is perfect for all tequila lovers looking for a new way to enjoy their favorite liquor.

You can also introduce a Juan Collins to someone who loves the Tom Collins but is getting a bit bored of it. It’s a change only in the liquor, with the rest of the fundamentals remaining the same, so it could either be the perfect way to change something up just slightly enough to alleviate boredom, or even introduce a stubborn drinker into trying a liquor outside of their comfort zone. That’s the advantage of a drink as simple as this one.

It’s easily enjoyed by a large range of people.

In my opinion, this drink is a social one because of its simplicity and the summer vibes it induces. If you’re the type of person who likes to bring the girls around for a cocktail party or the type who likes to host the neighborhood barbecues but wants to put something new and different on the menu, this is the perfect drink for you.

For smaller groups, the fact that the recipe is tailored to single glasses makes it extremely easy to make. You can serve it in glasses you already have if Collins glasses are hard to come by. Pass the drink around to your friends and give them something different to enjoy.

Make things interesting at a larger gathering by making a batch of it and putting it in a pitcher for guests to serve themselves over ice. It’s cooling, it’s interesting, it’s fun. Why not try it?


The Juan Collins may be a twist on an old favorite, but that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting in itself. Perfect for lovers of tequila or just a drink to remind them of the good old days of yore, everyone can find something to love in this simple mixed drink. It’s easy to make, great for social gatherings, and you can order it at almost any bar.

It’s a classic favorite with just a bit of a change that will help to expand even the most stubborn of palates or give you just something different to try on your next night out. This isn’t a new drink to try, everything about it is simple and there are variations within it, and you can make it how you want it.

This makes it easy to recommend to your friends. The simplicity of the drink means you can make one all to yourself at the comfort of your own home, or you can lean into the lemonade stand aesthetic and serve a large pitcher of it at your next gathering of friends, coworkers, and neighbors. It’s in its versatility that a Juan Collins really shines, and it’s because of its subtle difference that it will almost certainly become a new favorite.


Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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