Gin of the Month: June
Dr Adam’s, House of Botanicals
This month’s Gin of the Month, is another Scottish export. The House of Botanicals was created by experienced bartender ‘Dr Adam’. He initially started by re-formulating the Boker’s Bitters, a favoured ingredient of bartenders across the globe for hundreds of years. Prohibition meant that the production was ceased and a bottle of the bitters became gold dust. Step up Adam Elan-Elmegirab, or ‘Dr Adam’ as he is affectionally known. After the success of the bitters, he decided to dabble in creating spirits that would further ignite the cocktail industry.
Old Tom Gin is different to London Dry Gin which is the more common way to create gin, though London Dry evolved from Old Tom and made popular in 18th Century England. It is sweeter than London Dry Gin and is different due to botanicals being added after distillation. The name Old Tom comes from Thomas Chamberlaand - a chap who, well, knew rather a lot about rectifying and distilling and was around just over 240 years ago. More info on the history of Old Tom can be found here. The logo on the bottle has a modern take on this with instead of a black feline, there is a black panther in a nod to the distillers favourite hip hop music.
The House of Botanicals Old Tom Gin has a very warming citrusy smell to begin with. This will be the botanicals such as the lemon and orange peel coming through. When tasting it neat you get an initial citrus buzz with sweet after notes from the Muscovado Sugar and almond coming through. The more delicate floral botanicals, such as the saffron and camomile flowers are brought out with the addition of a light tonic water. It makes the drink more delicate. However the great thing about an Old Tom Gin is that their sweeter tastes make them perfect for cocktail making. It is for this reasons that you can find a whole host of recipes on the House of Botanicals website and is very versatile with many a mixer.
The other gin in the House of Botanicals collection is the Maple Gin. It is made form the same base gin as the Old Tom. They however instead add ginger root and maple syrup, off course. The history of Maple Gin was originally manufactured over 100 years ago in Buffalo, New York. However, prohibition soon kicked in and quashed distillation, or so we are led to believe. We were initially intrigued by this gin but worried about how much it would taste too sickly like Maple Syrup. We were pleasantly surprised however with a sweet woody smell, the gin when tasted neat does have a smooth maple taste but not too overpowering and is a lingering natural sweetness. We particularly enjoyed it with the addition of a ginger ale. It made a perfect dessert drink. It was smooth, sweet and flavourful.
Overall, the gin is not for everyone. If you are a straight G and T fan this is probably not the gin for you. However if you are fancying mixing it up and stepping into the world of mixology then we highly suggest House of Botanicals range is for you. They are due to bring out a Raspberry Old Tom, which we were lucky to sample recently and it is delicious as well. Who better to create a gin perfect for creating wonderful cocktails than an experienced cocktail creator. Don’t be shy to experiment, but remember to write down your recipes so you can share and recreate!