About Old Tom Gin

About Old Tom Gin
Old Tom Gin is the last remaining example of the original lightly sweetened gins that were so popular in 18th-century England. The name comes from what may be the first example of a beverage vending machine. In the 1700s some pubs in England would have a wooden plaque shaped like a black cat (an "Old Tom") mounted on the outside wall. Thirsty passersby would deposit a penny in the cat’s mouth and place their lips around a small tube between the cat’s paws. The bartender inside would then pour a shot of Gin through the tube and into the customer’s waiting mouth. Until fairly recently limited quantities of Old Tom-style Gin were still being made by a few British distillers, but they were, at best, curiosity items.

Top Picks for Old Tom Gin

Treaty Oak Old Yaupon Waterloo Gin
88 points
$29.99
Golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of hot rubber, grilled lime leaf, clove, galangal, rooibos, citronella, and cinnamon smoke with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a swift finish revealing elements of grilled pineapple finish. Interesting exotic flavors make this gin a unique cocktail component.
88 points $29.99
Gin Lane 1751 Old Tom Gin
87 points
$37
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of melted scented candle, dried fruits and geraniums, pickled herring with caraway, and nut oil with a supple, soft, fruity medium body and a tingling, medium-length finish evoking notes of fruit leather, pepper jelly, and saline. A curious Aquavit-like Gin for exotic savory cocktails.