I’ve recently been experimenting with long forgotten, barrel-aged gin (Old Tom gin for all you cocktail experts out there). Yes, that’s right, gin aged in wine or bourbon barrels, taking on a darker caramel color and less piney taste. The perfect gin for a gin Old Fashioned cocktail.
What is Old Tom-Style Gin?
In short, a type of gin dating back to the 1800’s that went out of style half a century ago. London dry gin grew in demand after Prohibition and Old Tom gin was out. Until now. Imagine a less botanical gin with sweeter, bourbon-like characteristics—basically, a world of opportunity for morphing whiskey classics into new gin cocktails.
The gin Old Fashioned is your basic Old Fashioned made with Old Tom gin, orange bitters, simple syrup, and a lemon peel. It’s everything you love about gin, wrapped up into a surprisingly deceptive ‘whiskey’ cocktail. It’s the only gin Old Fashioned you should ever drink. London dry gin in the same cocktail is basically a sweeter gin martini without vermouth.
It looks exactly like a whiskey Old Fashioned. Make one for a friend without telling them what it is and watch their mind be blown when they have no idea what they drank. Or maybe their senses will be so thrown off by the color they won’t even notice the difference? There’s been some interesting studies on spoofing wine experts by serving them white wine with red food coloring!Print
- 2 ounces Old Tom gin (Ransom is popular)
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup or 1 sugar cube with a splash of water (muddled)
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 1 lemon peel
- In a mixing glass or Boston shaker, combine simple syrup, bitters, and gin. Fill mixing glass halfway with ice, then stir vigorously about a dozen times.
- Strain into a double old-fashioned glass over a giant ice cube.
- Squeeze lemon peel over glass to extract oils, wipe the rim of the glass with the peel and add to the glass.