April 1, 2012

Old Tom Gin, Ransom

Distilling gin is a particularly tricky business. There are a significant lot of botanicals that go into the process, and the extraction requires some finesse. Take too high from the still it'll lack flavor, too low and it'll be overly concentrated. So what you're left with is the "heart" and relatively little room for error... certainly compared to the making of vodka, where you've got some latitude concerning the "body" from which to draw.   

I've just cracked this bottle of Old Tom Gin from Ransom Spirits (Sheridan, OR), developed in collaboration with David Wondrich, a drinker and author of some acclaim. Its profile is that of a London sweet gin (hence the Old Tom designation), which, as I've come to understand, is just a London dry with added sugar or some such sweetening agent. 

Ransom claims to retain only "the heart of the hearts," and unlike any gin I've ever had, its color is that of a weakened whiskey. This is due to aging in oak containers, which "really helps tone down the aromatics, and brings up the malt." Smells and looks like a brown but mixes like a clear, which makes this a terrific seasonal transition spirit.

Normally the tipping back of a fresh bottle guarantees my rapid entry into the passage of remorse, from which I emerge foggily the following morning full of questions but no real desire for answers. But I kept the Negronis lighter than what's typically called for (equal parts gin, vermouth, Campari) and benefitted greatly, enjoying all of the numbness and none of the sorrow... 

High ice
2oz gin
1oz Aperol
Cap full of vermouth
Splash of Topo Chico
Stir well, add twist 


BCM said...

Topo Chico? Your South Texas roots are showing through.

Great blog. I enjoy it very much. Your "pulled pork on the pit" entry was right on time. About to take delivery of a new Klose smoker.

Amatourist said...

BCM - really glad you like the blog and thanks for the kind words. The only way I could enjoy Topo Chico more is if I could get to flow from my faucet. Barring that, I'm left to my glass bottles and for now that's just fine.

So what's going on the smoker first?