Hayman's Old Tom Gin
Old Tom Gin is a botanically-intensive and lightly sweetened style of gin that was particularly popular in the 18th Century and was the Gin of Choice in the 19th Century.
In comparison to London Dry Gin, the Old Tom style delivers a more rounded taste experience with depth. The distinctive Old Tom Gin profile is the key ingredient in classic gin cocktails such as the Martinez, Tom Collins and Ramos Gin Fizz.
The style of Old Tom is renown for its botanical intensity balanced by a light sweetness, which imparts a more complex experience than other styles of gin.
Old Tom Gin was traditionally made from grain spirit and distilled in a pot still with Juniper berries being the most dominant botanical in the recipe.
Juniper was seen as blind allegiance to William of Orange, King of England 1689-1702 who introduced England to Juniper- based Dutch Gin or “Genever”.
Distillation methods in the 18th Century did not produce a particularly clean or pure spirit and initially Old Tom Gin was lightly sweetened to mask any impurities.
The name “Old Tom Gin” comes from what may be the first example of a beverage vending machine in England.
During the Gin Craze of the 18th Century when William of Orange encouraged distillation, London was awash with spirits and the preferred style of the time was Old Tom Gin.
A wooden plaque shaped like a black cat (an Old Tom Cat) was mounted on a wall outside pubs. Passers by would deposit a penny in the cats mouth and would be served a shot of Old Tom Gin by the bartender through a tube between the cat’s paws.
As distillation methods improved in the mid to late 19th Century a cleaner and purer base spirit and a "dry" style known as London Dry Gin became increasingly common. However, Old Tom Gin still retained its popularity and was a fashionable drink until the mid-20th Century.