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1 x 70cl bottle
Gyle: HMOTG70Brewery: Hayman's
Hayman’s Old Tom Gin is the distinguished Gin of the Victorian era.
Gin has evolved through time from the development of Dutch Genever, which was first bought to England from Holland during the reign of William of Orange.
Genever had a rich whisky like flavour and was too challenging for both the palates and distillers of London.
So these London Distillers reduced the recipe to distilling neutral grain alcohol with botanicals, keeping juniper as a predominant flavour.
So Genever developed from a juniper flavoured spirit that was heavily influenced by grain, to gin, which was (and still is) a juniper flavoured spirit that is all about the botanicals.
Old Tom Gin referred to any gin produced around this time and did not adhere to strict rules and regulations, but it was often botanical intensive and lightly sweetened with gum syrup.
However, with the invention of the Coffey still in the late 1820’s, the quality of alcohol improved and this encouraged some distillers to experiment. This saw the introduction of gin that wasn’t lightly sweetened. Initially it would still have been called ‘Old Tom Gin’ however, during the 1840s it became known as ‘Unsweetened Gin’ – before becoming established as ‘London Dry Gin’.
However, the traditional style of Old Tom Gin remained the gin of choice and the leading gin houses continued distilling this botanically intensive but lightly sweetened style.
In the USA, gin was influenced by the Dutch style Genever until around 1880’s, until the English Old Tom Gin style was found to be more versatile when blended with vermouth in cocktails. It soon became the dominant style of gin in the USA.
Hayman’s Old Tom Gin follows a family recipe from the 1870’s because it was this style of gin that was used in the American Cocktail era of the 1880’s. It features in a number of cocktail books from this time, including the second edition of the first ever cocktail book written by a man named ‘The Professor’ Jerry Thomas. It is the key ingredient for several classic drinks such as the Martinez, Tom Collins and Ramos Gin Fizz.
Harry Johnson’s famous ‘Bartender Manual’ of 1882 lists Old Tom Gin as an ‘essential liquor required in the bar room.’
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