What are the history and origins of Old Tom gin?

by Spirits

Old Tom Gin is a type of gin with a long and storied history. It was first developed in the 18th century, when a tax law was passed requiring all spirits to be aged in wood for at least two years. This led to the development of an aged version of gin known as Old Tom Gin, which is sweeter and less juniper-forward than its modern counterparts.

Old Tom Gin gained popularity during the Industrial Revolution, when it became popular among the working classes. As sugar prices dropped, cocktail recipes that relied on Old Tom’s sweetness became more widely available. By the early 19th century, Old Tom had become one of the most popular gins in England.

Today, Old Tom has seen a resurgence in popularity due to its unique flavor profile and historical significance. Many craft distilleries have begun producing their own versions of this classic spirit, allowing modern drinkers to experience a taste of history.Old Tom Gin is a type of gin that dates back to the 18th century. It is sweeter than London Dry Gin and is considered to be an ancestor of the modern London Dry Gin. Old Tom Gin was popular in England during the 1700s, and its popularity spread throughout Europe in the 19th century.

Old Tom Gin gets its name from “Tom Cat” which was a slang term for gin used in 18th century England. It was made by steeping juniper berries and other botanicals such as orris root, angelica root, coriander, orange peel and cinnamon in distilled grain alcohol. The resulting liquid was then mixed with sugar or other sweeteners to give it a slightly sweet taste.

There are several theories about the origins of Old Tom Gin. One theory suggests that it originated in Holland where it was called jenever, while another suggests that it originated in England during the 1700s when pubs put up wooden plaques shaped like cats with a tube attached that dispensed gin when coins were inserted into its mouth. Whatever its origins, Old Tom Gin has been enjoyed for centuries and remains popular today among gin connoisseurs.

History of Old Tom Gin

Old Tom Gin is a type of gin that originated in England during the 18th century. It is an aged, sweeter style of gin that was popular during the early 1800s. Old Tom gin gets its name from the wooden “Tom” cats that were painted on the sides of pubs and other establishments that served it. It was also known as “Old Tom” or “Old Tom Gin”.

The history of Old Tom Gin begins in 18th century England, when it was first distilled using botanicals such as juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica root, licorice root and orris root. These botanicals were macerated in a base spirit and then redistilled to create a smooth and flavorful gin. The addition of sugar or other sweeteners to the final product gave it a slightly sweet taste.

Old Tom Gin was popularized by British distillers who used it to make various cocktails such as gimlets, slings, and fizzes. By the 19th century it had become a common spirit in Britain and America. In America, Old Tom Gin was often aged for longer periods of time before being bottled, giving it a smoother flavor than London dry gin.

Today, Old Tom Gin is making a comeback with craft distillers producing their own unique versions. These new expressions tend to be slightly sweeter than traditional London dry gins but still retain the same juniper-forward flavor profile that made Old Tom so popular centuries ago. Whether you’re looking for something unique to enjoy on its own or as part of an inventive cocktail, Old Tom is worth exploring!

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Different Types of Old Tom Gin

Old Tom Gin is a style of gin that has been around since the 18th century. It is a sweeter version of London Dry Gin and has a more intense flavor profile. Old Tom Gins are usually made with more botanicals than London Dry Gins, which makes them more complex. There are several different types of Old Tom Gin available, each with its own unique flavor profile.

The first type of Old Tom Gin is the classic style, which is made using traditional juniper-heavy recipes. Classic Old Tom Gins tend to be more aromatic and flavorful than London Dry Gins and can have notes of citrus, coriander, angelica root, and cinnamon.

Another popular type of Old Tom Gin is Navy Strength Gin. This style is higher proof than other gins and was historically used for nautical purposes. Navy Strength Gins have a bolder flavor profile than classic styles, with an emphasis on juniper and other spices like cardamom and clove.

A third type of Old Tom Gin is Dutch Genever Gin. This style originated in Holland in the 17th century and dates back even further in time than traditional British gins. Dutch Genever Gins have a sweeter taste due to the use of malt wine or grain spirits as the base spirit instead of grain alcohols like vodka or whiskey. They also typically include botanicals like aniseed and liquorice root for added complexity.

Finally, there are flavored versions of Old Tom Gin that are becoming increasingly popular among craft distillers today. These gins often feature fruit infusions or herbs to create unique flavors such as Raspberry Rosemary or Lavender Lemonade Gin.

Old Tom Gins offer an interesting alternative to London Dry Gins for those looking to try something new or explore different flavor profiles in their cocktails. Whether you prefer the classic style or one of the more modern variations, there’s sure to be an Old Tom Gin that’s perfect for you!

Distillation Process of Old Tom Gin

Old Tom Gin is a style of gin that has been around since the 18th century. It is an aromatic spirit made from grain-based alcohol, flavoured with a variety of botanicals. The distillation process for Old Tom Gin is relatively simple and involves the use of a still, which is a large metal vessel that takes water and alcohol through a distilling process. The still is heated up, and the steam passes through the botanicals, extracting their flavour into the liquid. This process is repeated several times to ensure that all the flavours are extracted from the botanicals.

The next step in the distillation process is to filter out unwanted sediment and impurities. This can be done using either charcoal or diatomaceous earth filters. Once this step has been completed, the liquid is ready to be bottled or aged in oak barrels for additional flavour development.

Finally, it’s time for bottling! Old Tom gin typically contains 40% ABV (alcohol by volume). This means that it has a higher alcohol content than other styles of gin. It also has a sweet, slightly spicy taste that makes it unique in comparison to other gins.

Old Tom gin has come a long way since its beginnings in the 18th century and it continues to be enjoyed by people around the world today! The traditional distillation process used to create Old Tom Gin ensures that this classic style of gin will remain popular for many years to come!

Ingredients Used to Make Old Tom Gin

Old Tom gin is a type of gin that has been popular since the 18th century. It is made with a variety of botanicals and has a sweet, malty flavor. The base ingredient for Old Tom gin is juniper berries, which provide an earthy and pine-like flavor. Other botanicals used to make Old Tom gin include angelica root, coriander, cardamom, lemon peel, orris root, anise, and licorice root. These ingredients give Old Tom gin its characteristic sweet and spicy flavor. Some producers also add additional herbs and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary or lavender to give the gin a distinctive flavor profile.

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To make Old Tom gin distillers use a process known as “vacuum distillation” which allows them to extract the essential oils from the botanicals without having to heat them up too much. This process gives Old Tom gins their unique flavor profile that is not found in other gins. Once the essential oils have been extracted they are then blended with grain alcohol and water to create the finished product.

While there are many different recipes for making Old Tom gin each producer has their own unique blend of ingredients which gives their product a unique taste and aroma. As with all gins it is best enjoyed when served neat or over ice with tonic or other mixers.

How to Serve Old Tom Gin

Old Tom Gin is a classic spirit that has become increasingly popular over the past few years. It is a sweeter, slightly more complex version of London dry gin, and it has a unique flavor profile that makes it perfect for crafting cocktails. Here are some tips on how to best serve Old Tom Gin:

Neat: Old Tom Gin can be enjoyed neat, which means without any additional mixers or ingredients. Neat drinks are usually served in an old-fashioned glass with a single large cube of ice. When tasting neat spirits like Old Tom Gin, it’s important to let the liquid sit and open up in the glass before taking a sip.

With Tonic Water: Tonic water is an ideal mixer for Old Tom Gin because its lightly sweetened flavor profile pairs well with the spirit’s sweetness and complexity. To make a classic gin and tonic, combine two ounces of Old Tom Gin and four ounces of tonic water in an ice-filled collins glass. Add a twist of lemon for extra flavor.

In Cocktails: Old Tom Gin can be used as the base for many different cocktails, including martinis, gimlets, and Negronis. For martinis, combine two ounces of Old Tom Gin with one ounce of dry vermouth in an ice-filled shaker and stir until cold. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with olives or lemon twist.

On the Rocks: This method is similar to drinking neat but allows the drinker to enjoy their beverage over time as the ice melts into the spirit. To serve on the rocks, fill an old-fashioned glass with ice cubes then pour two ounces of Old Tom Gin over them. Add one dash of Angostura bitters for extra flavor if desired.

Benefits of Drinking Old Tom Gin

Old Tom Gin is a classic style of gin that has been around for centuries. It is made from juniper berries, coriander, angelica root and other botanicals, and is usually aged in oak barrels to give it a smooth flavor. There are many benefits to drinking Old Tom Gin, including its ability to help reduce stress and improve overall health.

For starters, Old Tom Gin contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that can help boost the immune system and improve energy levels. It also contains antioxidants that can help protect the body from free radical damage. Additionally, Old Tom Gin can help reduce inflammation in the body and may even help reduce some of the symptoms associated with arthritis.

Old Tom Gin also has a calming effect on the mind and body which can help reduce anxiety levels. This calming effect can also be beneficial for those who suffer from depression or insomnia as it helps to relax the mind and body while providing an overall sense of well-being.

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In addition to its health benefits, Old Tom Gin is also great for making cocktails. Its smooth taste makes it an excellent choice for cocktails such as martinis or gimlets. It is also a great base spirit for mixed drinks like sangria or mojitos.

Finally, Old Tom Gin is an affordable option when compared to other types of gin on the market today. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking to enjoy a good quality gin without breaking their budget.

In conclusion, drinking Old Tom Gin can provide many benefits for both your health and your wallet! From its immune-boosting vitamins and minerals to its calming effects on the mind and body, there’s no denying that this classic style of gin has something to offer everyone!

Popular Cocktails Made with Old Tom Gin

Old Tom Gin is a type of gin that has been around for centuries. It is slightly sweeter than London Dry gin and has a more herbal flavor, making it perfect for cocktails. There are many classic cocktails that can be made with Old Tom Gin, from the classic Martini to the more modern creations. Here are some of the most popular cocktails made with Old Tom Gin:

The Martinez
The Martinez is a classic cocktail that is similar to a Martini but made with Old Tom Gin instead of London Dry gin. It is usually served in a martini glass and garnished with lemon or orange peel and maraschino cherries. The ingredients include two ounces of Old Tom gin, one ounce sweet vermouth, one teaspoon maraschino liqueur, one dash orange bitters and one dash Angostura bitters.

The Gin Rickey
The Gin Rickey was created in 1883 and is still popular today. It consists of two ounces of Old Tom gin, one ounce lime juice and half an ounce simple syrup. It is usually served over ice in a highball glass with a lime wedge garnish.

The Negroni
The Negroni is an Italian classic that consists of equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth and Old Tom gin. It is usually served over ice in an old-fashioned glass and garnished with an orange peel. This cocktail has become increasingly popular over the past few years due to its strong flavor and complex taste.

The Aviation
The Aviation was created in 1916 by Harry MacElhone at the Hotel Wallick in New York City. It consists of two ounces Old Tom gin, half an ounce maraschino liqueur, half an ounce crème de violette (or blue curacao) and three quarters ounces lemon juice. This cocktail has a bright purple color and a sweet taste that makes it perfect for sipping on warm summer nights.


Old Tom Gin is a unique type of spirit that has been enjoyed in England and around the world for centuries. It has a distinct flavor profile and is a classic style of Gin. The history of Old Tom Gin dates back to the 18th century, when it was popularized in England and became a favorite amongst the public. The true origins of Old Tom Gin are not known, but it is likely derived from Dutch Genever and English Navy Strength Gin. It was also popular in colonial America, where it was often made from corn whiskey or rum. Today, Old Tom Gin is still enjoyed throughout the world, with many modern distilleries producing their own craft versions for drinkers to enjoy.

Old Tom Gin is an interesting spirit that has been around for centuries and continues to be enjoyed today. It’s an excellent choice for cocktails such as the Martinez or Ramos Fizz, or simply enjoyed neat by gin enthusiasts around the world. Its unique flavor profile makes it a distinctive choice amongst other styles of gin, making it worthy of its place in any cocktail enthusiast’s arsenal.



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