Time Travel in a Glass: Tanqueray Old Tom Gin

Old Tom Martinez
Old Tom Martinez

It’s 2014. We still don’t have the moving sidewalks, floating vehicles and teleportation. But we can time travel. In a glass, anyway.

Introducing Tanqueray Old Tom, a gin that resurrects a 180 year-old recipe from Charles Tanqueray, in a new limited edition release. The style is a cross between traditional junipertastic London Dry and the weightier maltiness of genever. It has some heft to it, but not as much as the genever. It’s sweeter than London Dry. It’s a style that many 19th and 20th century bartenders found indispensable, yet it somehow got lost through the clutter of the ages and the modern cocktail era.

Now there is renewed respect for tradition in cocktails, and Old Tom style gins are a huge part of that. Sometimes a drink needs a botanical flavor, but with softer and smoother edges. This is where it fits the bill.

Tanqueray Master Distiller Tom Nichol (no relation) made sure to bring back the original design of the label from the Diageo archives, dating back to 1921. Each bottle is also individually numbered.

Let’s step into the drinks time machine and taste some classic Old Tom cocktails with Tanqueray gin!

Tanqueray Old Tom Martinez

Predecessor to the Dry Martini

  • 30 ml/1 oz Tanqueray OLD TOM
  • 7.4 ml/.25 oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 Dashes Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 Dash Orange or Boker’s Bitters

Add all ingredients to chilled stirring glass; add ice and stir.  Strain into chilled coupe glass.  Garnish with (real) cocktail cherry.

old tom
old tom

Deep Sea Cocktail

From the Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock

  • 30 ml/1 oz Tanqueray OLD TOM
  • 30 ml/1 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 2 Dashes Orange Bitters
  • 1 Dash Absinthe

Add all ingredients to chilled stirring glass; add ice and stir.  Strain into chilled coupe glass.  Squeeze lemon peel on top and drop in.

Tanqueray Old Tom Collins

A riff on the quintessential Old Tom Cocktail

  • 37/ml 1.25 oz Tanqueray OLD TOM
  • 15 ml/.50 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 15ml/ .50 oz Simple Syrup
  • Club Soda

Shake Old Tom, lemon and simple with ice. Strain into chilled Collins glass.  Top with soda. Garnish with lemon zest and cocktail cherry.

Defender

From the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book

  • 30 ml/1 oz Tanqueray OLD TOM
  • 22 ml/.75 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 7.4 ml/.25 oz Crème de Violette
  • 2 Dashes Orange Bitters

Add all ingredients to chilled stirring glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into chilled Martini glass.  Garnish with an orange zest.

Tanqueray_Cocktail_Photos_Tom_Collins-1
Tanqueray_Cocktail_Photos_Tom_Collins-1

Ampersand

From the Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book

  • 15ml/.50 oz Tanqueray OLD TOM
  • 15ml/.50 oz VSOP Cognac
  • 15ml/.50 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 Dashes Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
  • 1 Dash Orange Bitters

Add all ingredients to chilled stirring glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into chilled Martini glass.  Garnish with an orange zest.