Rhode Island recently started (finally) getting in bottles of Ransom Old Tom Gin; having heard so much about it over the last two years or so, I had to buy a bottle and try it.
The only other Old Tom I’ve had is Hayman’s, and I have to say, these are very different products. Both are excellent in quality and great in flavor, but the Ransom has a maltiness to it that makes it stand out just a bit. I suspect each Tom will shine brightly in specific cocktails, so I can see both of them having a place on my bar.
A cocktail in which the Ransom excels is the Martinez, the martini precursor that uses gin, sweet vermouth, bitters, and sometimes either curacao or maraschino. Historically, the Martinez calls for equal parts gin and vermouth. I like them prepared that way, but I prefer a little more gin in mine.
Here’s my recipe:
- 2 oz. Ransom Old Tom Gin
- 1 oz. Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
- 1 dash orange bitters
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- lemon twist
Stir all ingredients except for lemon twist in an ice-filled mixing glass. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon peel over drink and discard.
Photograph © Jennifer Hess