London hotel bar unveils its own Old Tom gin

giuliano_morandin martinez

A gin has been developed specifically for The Bar at The Dorchester in London, created by its legendary bar manager Giuliano Morandin (pictured).

He worked with distiller Jonathan Clark of City of London Distillery (COLD) to create an Old Tom gin – the sweeter style that is well suited to classic cocktails such as a Martinez and a Tom Collins.

It is made with eight botanicals, including juniper, coriander, angelica root, orris root, cassia bark, cardamom, fresh lemon peel and fresh orange peel – but two ingredients are being kept secret.

The gin is available to buy only at The Bar at The Dorchester but can be bought not only by the glass or in drinks but also in 70cl, 50cl and 25ml bottles. Each bottle – at £65 for 70cl – has a black wax seal and a hand-signed label marked with the batch number.

To celebrate the launch, Giuliano has created the Old Tom Cobbler, mixing the Old Tom gin with coriander, fresh lemongrass and elderflower. The menu also features two other classics, a Martinez (pictured) and a Ramos Fizz, made with the gin.

Giuliano, who has been at The Bar at The Dorchester for 30 years, came up with his own Old Tom gin in 2006 when no brands were available to buy. He has now been working with City of London Distillery for some time to develop the new recipe.

Giuliano pointed out that, while the new gin contains a minute dose of sugar, the trademark sweetness of Old Tom gin comes from the choice of botanicals.

“This is an exciting time for my team, the hotel and I,” he said. “We have been working hard to make this new take on the original 18th-century recipe stand next to other leading gins, and we welcome London’s bar cognoscenti to come and experience the result.

“The Dorchester Old Tom gin reflects the style and history of the hotel while encompassing a modern fusion of flavours.”

Giuliano and his team are to offer private and bespoke cocktail master classes showcasing the techniques and flavours used to complement The Dorchester Old Tom gin within the new cocktails.

The City of London Distillery, located off Fleet Street and sharing a site with COLD Bar, began production in December 2012. It produces its own COLD Gin but is working with other bars and restaurants on developing their own bespoke gins.

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