Old Tom Gin unveiled by makers of bitters range

House of Botanicals Old Tom Gin

The team behind Dr Adam Elmegirab’s Bitters have today unveiled their take on a classic Old Tom Gin.

The small-batch gin from The House of Botanicals is first distilled in London – the historic home of this style – with juniper berries, angelica root, orris root, coriander seed, cassia bark, almond, orange peel and lemon peel.

It is then shipped to The House of Botanicals’ base in Aberdeen where it is compounded with delicate saffron and camomile flowers from Morocco – where founder Adam Elmegirab was married.

To achieve the sweeter Old Tom style, a hint of muscovado sugar is added, based on what Adam believes was used in its heyday in the 19th century. It is bottled at 47% ABV, again based on analysis of historic products.

The House of Botanicals Old Tom Gin has been launched today at the Gin Experience Dublin, which runs till tomorrow. It is also being launched in the UK in partnership with Specialist Drinks before being rolled out to other markets globally.

Launches are planned in Aberdeen, London, Stockholm, Lisbon, Rome, Lisbon, Berlin and Paris, where Adam or his colleague Ricky Chan will promote it at events such as festivals and bar takeovers.

The gin’s branding features a coat of arms that pays homage to Aberdeen through a black leopard which reflects the symbols on Aberdeen’s coat of arms, based on the legend that two of the big cats were given to the city by James I. Facing it is a dragon, taken from the coat of arms for the City of London.

Popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, Old Tom Gin is traditionally thought to take its name from the symbol of an old tom cat that was placed on walls outside London pubs where it was available. However, many other origin stories proliferate.

It is the first foray into spirits for The House of Botanicals which is behind the Dr Adam Elmegirab’s Bitters range launched in 2009.

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