Today we’re going to explore Ransom Old Tom Gin, a Pre-Prohibition stye gin made by a modern day artisan producer of small batch organic wines and spirits. This gin harkens back to a popular style of gin from the mid 1800’s, an era that gave us the bulk of what we call classic cocktails today. What makes this style Old Tom Gin unique is that it was barrel aged, which probably came about due to transporting the gin over great distances.
This specific Ransom recipe was developed in collaboration with historian, author, and mixologist David Wondrich. Ransom’s website will tell you that the gin’s subtle maltiness is the result of using a base wort of malted barley, combined with an infusion of botanicals in high proof corn spirits. Barrel aged… malted barley… high proof corn spirits… this sounds more like a whiskey than a gin. Here comes the gin bits though. The botanicals I mentioned above are juniper, orange peel, lemon peel, coriander seed, angelica root and cardamom pods. Now we’re starting to see the gin traits making their mark. Finally, the distillation is run through an alambic pot still that preserves the maximum amount of aromatics, flavor and body. Only the “heart of the hearts” (the very best portion of distillate) is retained for this special bottling.
I’ve never experienced anything like it. The sniff test reveals an obvious whiff of juniper along with subtle floral notes and cardamom. At first sip you’ll notice a presence of cardamom. The mid palate reveals floral tones and a hint of citrus that carries through to a malty finish. The overall tasting experience has a smooth roundness from the barrel aging. This is a must have for serious cocktail nerds.
Around $37 a bottle.
Since this gin is based off a recipe from the golden era of classic cocktails naturally it’s going to work in classic cocktails like the Martinez.
- 2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin
- 1 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
- 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
- Dash of Post Prohibition Orange Bitters
- Garnish with a lemon twist
Stir all ingredients with ice except for the garnish.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.