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The Old Tom Manhattan

 Ransom Old Tom Gin

I recently purchased a bottle of Ransom Old Tom Gin because it’s been all the rage in the craft cocktail bars as of late, and because Old Tom gin is really cool and has an intriguing past. But I wasn’t sure how best to use it. So, off to the Internet(s) I went in search of something to imbibe.  After a couple of links that yielded nothing, I found a recipe called the Old Tom MARTINEZ, which includes Ransom Old Tom Gin, Sweet Vermouth, and orange bitters. The recipe was similar to that of a a standard Manhattan, but the rye had been replaced with the gin. I love Manhattan’s, and I’m constantly experimenting with them, so I was intrigued.  Ten seconds later I was rummaging through my bottles trying to come up with the perfect combination.

I started, of course, with the Ransom Old Tom Gin. Old Tom is a style of gin that’s sweeter than your standard London Dry. Ransom’s take on it is also barrel aged, so it has a carmel color and flavor profile to match. The first sweet vermouth I thought of was Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, which is rich and lush, and has the character to lift the gin to another level. The next decision was what orange bitters to use. I considered the Fee Brother’s West Indian Orange, but that seemed like an ill choice considering their candy-like (and delicious) sweetness, and I was looking for something more sturdy.  I briefly considered using Regan’s #6, but that also seemed odd considering its spicy, herbaceous character with a touch of bitter orange. What I needed was something in between. I grabbed the Angostura orange Bitters, which has recently become my favorite due to the sophisticated orange flavors and the right amount of spice to make them interesting.

The result was amazing. The drink has the depth of a Rye Manhattan, but with a gin profile. It has a thicker mouthfeel, but not all of the heaviness that I would have expected. All in all, it was delicious.

The Recipe

Put the contents into a pint glass, add ice and stir until cold. Strain into a martini glass our coupe.

The Recap

Old Tom is a great style of gin to make cocktails with. In this case, I took the template for a Rye Manhattan and substituted the rye for the gin as well as the aromatic betters for a spicier orange and create a drink that felt like I was in prohibition New York at a speak easy.

So, grab your girl or guy, do the Charlston, and…



David isn't a professional mixologist, and he doesn't play one on TV. Instead, he enjoys making craft cocktails at home for friends and family.

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