Something Gorgeous This Way Comes
After 6 months of experimentation involving the creation of not always drinkable potions (thank you brave tasters!) we are nearly ready to launch this delicious new gin on the world. With a tiny copper alembic still named Naomi we created a wizard's workshop upstairs at the Gin Palace and set about trying to make something lovely. Sweet orange peel, vanilla, bay, nutmeg and coriander seed were layered over a base of juniper and orris root, with a trace of Demerara for character. The whole glorious potion is then rested for a few weeks to let the flavours merge and balance. A tiny amount has also been set aside to be aged in bourbon barrels as a rare vintage edition with additional notes of oak and caramel. A treat for a later day.
Old Tom is a slightly sweeter and more richly flavoured gin by comparison to the London Dry gins we have all come to love. Named after the sign of a black cat which hung over 18th century illicit gin palaces Old Tom was the first gin to be linked with cocktails. The grand father of the modern cocktail movement Jerry Thomas created The Martinez for his 1887 book The Bartenders Guide: How To Mix All kinds of Plain and Fancy Drinks. Before it grew up and got all sophisticated by transforming itself into a modern dry martini this was the very thing to kick start a delicious night of debauchery. It remains an elegant little drink with complex flavours. So to get you all hooked on Old Tom here is the recipe
50mls Old Tom Gin (until ours is ready for you why not try Jensen's made in Bermondsey)
30mls sweet red vermouth
10mls dry vermouth
5mls Mother's Ruin bitter Orange Liqueur
dash of aromatic bitters
- place all in a tall bar glass half filled with ice. Stir to thoroughly chill but not diliute, and then double strain (both Hawthorne and sieve) into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a small spiral of orange zest. Yum bloody yum!