THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION

House Spirits Releases Old Tom Version of Renown Aviation Gin

by Alexander Frane on Feb 11, 2016 in Liquor

For many Portland bartenders and imbibers, Aviation is a household name and not just for the cocktail. The gin, which was named in honor of the drink, is the product of a collaboration between Ryan Magarian, whose new bar program at Olympia Oyster Bar we recently enjoyed reviewing, and distillers from the popular House Spirits, including founder Christian Krogstad and, later, Andrew Tice. It’s a unique gin, flavored with juniper, cardamom, lavender, sarsaparilla, coriander, anise seed, and orange peel. It, along with the spectacular Krogstad Aquavit, helped to define House Spirits as an eminent Portland distillery. And now, there’s an Old Tom version.
 
What Is Old Tom Gin?
Think of it as a missing link between the sweeter, richer Dutch Genever, and the classic London Dry Gin that we drink now whenever we order a G&T or a martini. The Old Tom style faded from popularity for many years, and we’ve only seen a resurgence in the past decade, notably from Hayman and Ransom.
Old Tom Gin lacks a clear definition, but it’s generally sweeter, and sometimes barrel aged. For House Spirits, it’s a simple process of aging regular Aviation in a Westward Whiskey barrel for a year. That’s it—no other botanicals, sugar, or anything else is added. And, as the Westward barrels were already used to age the whiskey for three to four years, it’s a neutral oak, imparting little flavor. The result is a gin that is unmistakably Aviation, but much mellower and smoother, a gin easy enough to sip neat.
 
What To Do With It
While you would rarely want to drink a clear gin neat, this light, caramel-colored spirit is the perfect opportunity. You could drink it over ice, or even in an Old Fashioned. But the best way might be in a Martinez.
 
The Martinez is something between a Martini and a Manhattan, and the predecessor to both. The Aviation Old Tom is dry enough to keep the drink from being too sweet, even with the vermouth and maraschino liqueur. While the original recipe called for a 50/50 mix of gin to vermouth, we prefer ours at a 2/1 ratio, to keep the drink from being cloying.
 
Aviation Martinez
2 oz Aviation Gin
1 oz Martini and Rossi Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz of Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 dash bitters
Stir over ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed lemon peel or, as Margarian prefers, with a lemon disk.
 
Our Take
If you’re already a fan of Aviation Gin, you will probably love the aged version. If Aviation doesn’t fit your taste, the more mild Old Tom might change your mind, but it may not. The $50 price tag is likely a major deterrent for the average consumer, but if you’re a big fan of Old Tom style gins, check it out.

Photos by Alexander Frane

Tags: Cocktails, Spirits
Recent Articles

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Behind the Bar: Camille Ralph Vidal, Global Brand Ambassador for St. Germain

Behind the Bar: Camille Ralph Vidal, Global Brand Ambassador for St. Germain

In this installment of Behind the Bar, we were lucky enough to interview Madame St. Germain herself, Camille V...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Mar 23, 2017
Things No One Asked For: Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish

Things No One Asked For: Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish

If you're the kind of alcoholic who needs to have booze on your person at all times, Groupon has just the product for you: prosecco-flavored nail poli...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Mar 22, 2017
The Sobro Refrigerator Coffee Table Means You Never Need to Get Up Again

The Sobro Refrigerator Coffee Table Means You Never Need to Get Up Again

A recent IndieGoGo campaign has resulted in a coffee table with everything you could want: the Sobro Refrigera...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 22, 2017
SPONSORED
Cold Brew Hard Coffee is Coming to Stores in May

Cold Brew Hard Coffee is Coming to Stores in May

Soon, you'll be able to enjoy cold brew coffee with the alcohol percentage of a strong beer with Bad Larry's Cold Hard Coffee. ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 17, 2017
Budweiser Wants to Be the First Beer Consumed on Mars

Budweiser Wants to Be the First Beer Consumed on Mars

In what is undoubtedly the company's latest publicity stunt, Budweiser announced Saturday, March 11 at SXSW in Austin, Texas that they are looking int...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 16, 2017
BrewDog's Latest Project is a Crowdfunded Craft Beer Hotel

BrewDog's Latest Project is a Crowdfunded Craft Beer Hotel

The publicly owned Scottish brewery announced their plans to crowdfund a craft beer hotel, called the "Dog House" via Indiegogo less than week ago. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Mar 8, 2017
Appleton Estate Celebrates 20 Years with Joy Spence

Appleton Estate Celebrates 20 Years with Joy Spence

Appleton Estate, the Jamaican rum label, is celebrating 20 years with its master distiller Joy Spence this year....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Mar 7, 2017
Guinness is Releasing Its Own Irish Whiskey

Guinness is Releasing Its Own Irish Whiskey

Guinness is getting into the Irish whiskey gave with Roe & Co, a blended Irish whiskey....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Feb 28, 2017
Channing Tatum is Starting His Own Line of Vodka

Channing Tatum is Starting His Own Line of Vodka

As if watching Magic Mike over and over again wasn't already good enough, Channing Tatum is gracing the world yet again, this time with his own line o...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Feb 28, 2017
Zima is Coming Back, and it's Zomething We Didn't Miss

Zima is Coming Back, and it's Zomething We Didn't Miss

Miller-Coors announced that Zima - which was originally discontinued in 2008 - will be buddying up (probably briefly) with its lineup of Henry's Hard ...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Feb 28, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close