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: Liana Oster of Dante

Behind the Bar: Liana Oster of Dante

For this exciting installment of Behind the Bar, we had the incredible opportunity to sit down with Liana Oster, the head bartender at Dante in New Yo...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 7, 2020
Pabst Blue Ribbon Launches Blue Ribbon Whiskey in Select US Markets

Pabst Blue Ribbon Launches Blue Ribbon Whiskey in Select US Markets

PBR has launched their own whiskey. Let's keep an open mind and see what is inside this bottle....read more ›

by Carrie Dow Sep 24, 2019
The Master Sommelier Scandal is Now the Subject of a New Investigative Series

The Master Sommelier Scandal is Now the Subject of a New Investigative Series

There's a new investigative series about one of the biggest scandals to ever hit the wine world....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Sep 13, 2019
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Using Peas to Make Gin Might Lead to More Environmentally Friendly Spirits, Studies Show

Scientists may have discovered a more environmentally friendly way to make one of the world's most popular spi...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 23, 2019
Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Drink a Classic Cocktail for a Good Cause During Negroni Week, June 24-30

Negroni Week 2019 is June 24-30, so drink this classic cocktail for a good cause....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jun 19, 2019
What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

If you're taking an Uber, Lyft, or cab and feel unsafe, there are steps you can take to protect yourself....read more ›

by Nina Starner Jun 19, 2019
Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

This time on Behind the Bar, we spoke to Kat Corbo of The Study, who recently won Speed Rack 2019....read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 15, 2019
Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

In a huge move for the American craft beer community, Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have agreed to a merger valued at $300 million dollars. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 10, 2019
A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A new, high-end blend of Jack Daniel's whiskey, known as Jack Daniel's No. 27 Gold, which was previously only ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 15, 2019
Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon has debuted an entirely new label design, has expanded to more states...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 3, 2019
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close