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David Wondrich

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    October 2011
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Casino Cocktail 7 Oct 2011
11:16 am

Just a note about the history of Old Tom gin. Back in the 19th century, it did not in fact belong to any one company, nor was there just one recipe for it. It was a style of gin, not a brand--and not even a strictly-defined style at that. In general, it was a gin made by redistilling spirits with a juniper-heavy mix of botanicals and sweetening and lightly aging the result, usually in neutral containers. The base spirit used varied over time as distilling technology changed and it became easier to get a purely neutral spirit; in the early part of the century, it would have been heavier and even slightly malty. By the end of the century, it was largely replaced by the unsweetened style of gin based on neutral spirits we know as London dry gin. Heyman's is an excellent example of a late-style Old Tom.

Casino Cocktail 7 Oct 2011
11:29 am

Indeed. That one's an attempt to take all the most interesting features of Old Tom and put them together in one gin: barrel aging, richer base spirit, etc.