September 23rd, 2008

A taste of Old Tom at Deep Ellum

Hayman’s Old Tom GinFirst: thanks to everyone who turned up for the B-Side Group Hug last night. Miraculously, I am fully conscious today despite being at the bar from doors-open to last call. It was fun.

Now for tomorrow night, Wednesday, September 24: Eric Seed of Haus Alpenz Importing introduces a spirit not seen since before Prohibition — Old Tom gin — to the Boston area at Deep Ellum from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.

Haus Alpenz has made several defunct or obscure spirits available again to mixologists — Pimento Dram (aka Allspice Liqueur), Creme de Violette and Batavia Arrack, to name a few. Here’s the company’s description of Old Tom:

“Old Tom Gin is a botanically-intensive and lightly sweetened style of gin popular in the 18th Century and was the Gin of Choice in the 19th Century. Relative to London Dry Gin, the Old Tom style imparts a more complex and flavourful taste experience. With its distinctive profile the Old Tom style of gin is the key ingredient in classic cocktails such as the Martinez, Tom Collins and Ramos Gin Fizz. Hayman Distillers is the longest serving family owned gin distillery in England. Hayman’s Old Tom Gin is produced from an original recipe from the family archives.”

Deep Ellum bartender and co-owner Max Toste and his staff will serve some classic cocktails using Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, including the Martinez (said to be the precursor to the Martini) and the Tom Collins. In addition to the Old Tom gin, Eric will also have on hand some Peruvian bitters (Pisco Sour, anyone?) and vermouth from the small French distillery Dolin de Chambery.

FYI, BRIX stores will carry Hayman’s Old Tom Gin as early as the end of this week, and Dolin Vermouth is due to arrive in about two months.

Hope to see you there!

Permalink | Filed under Events, Gin |

11 Responses to “A taste of Old Tom at Deep Ellum”

  1. Sean

    Ideal Wine carries it. It is availiable now. As a company they are pretty receptive to carrying relatively obscure items. They have a lot of small French and Italian producers who make a bunch of regional specialties, but have hesitated on bringing them in because they were unsure if there was a market for these things. Maybe there is more fun stuff to come with the apparent success of the dram, violette, and ol tom.

  2. Arnold

    Will the drinks and gin remain available at Deep Ellum after tonight’s event? I can’t make it tonight but would definitely make a trip soon if they were “sticking around” for a while.

  3. Chas

    Speaking of Gin, what has become of Wet? When I briefly lived in Florida, a couple nights a week my buddy and I would go to the bars after work, have a couple “Wets” and call it a night. Unfortunately, I have not found it in many places here, or, if they have it, they are hidding it…

  4. Scortch


    As far as liquor stores, a quick peek online shows at least Gordon’s says that the carry it- I’m sure either Marty’s or Blanchard’s has it. As for bars, I dunno- none come to mind at the moment.

  5. Frederic

    Thanks for alerting us to this event! The gin, vermouth, and Peruvian bitters were just as great an opportunity to taste as it was to just sit down and speak with Eric.

  6. ljclark

    Arnold, Max was enamored of the Old Tom after mixing several cocktails with it last night, so I do believe that he will stock it soon. And I don’t imagine he’ll be the only one, either.

    Chas, I have heard of Wet gin (by Beefeater, I believe) but have never tried it. Don’t know who carries it up here.

    To clarify Sean’s comment, Ideal Wine *distributes* the Old Tom gin and other Haus Alpenz products.

    Fred, great to see you and Andrea last night.

  7. Walt

    I don’t know about in other states, but here in Kentucky the weak link is the distributor. Haus Alpenz products have been available in the northern part of the state but, even with Eric’s prodding, the same distributor has been completely unresponsive in getting the products here in the Lexington-Louisville area.

  8. Arnold

    Thanks for the update.

  9. Adam

    “Old Tom Gin is a botanically-intensive and lightly sweetened style of gin …”

    To me this sounds very similar to how I might describe Tanqueray #10. Am I way off base here, or are the two comparable?

    I’m really excited to hear that there will be another vermouth option available in the area soon! Thanks for the heads up.

  10. ljclark

    I have only tried Tangueray 10 once, so I don’t think I can adequately answer your question, Adam. I had it in a martini, which turned out to be a bad choice; the drink had no edge to it, and, as I remember, juniper was not a primary flavor. With the Hayman’s Old Tom, there’s a juniper bite, though the gin’s a little softer than most London dry styles. One of the tasters at Deep Ellum mixed it 50-50 with the Dolin dry vermouth, which turned out the be a pretty nice combo.

  11. Adam

    Thanks for the reply, Lauren! I agree that T10 in a martini is not a good idea. I like to use it in Pegu Clubs and other cocktails that include citrus elements.

    I’m really looking forward to trying the Old Tom once it hits the stores. On a slight tangent, I just saw that Bols is relaunching its genever product for US distribution — hopefully we’ll start seeing that in the area soon too. It will be really fun to taste the various older style gins and see how they stack up against a variety cocktails.

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