Tad Seestedt started Ransom Wine Co. & Distillery as a labor of love in 1997, initially producing small batches of eau de vie, brandy and grappa. In 2007, he added gin, whiskey and vodka to the Ransom portfolio. While the Willamette Valley is known for its excellent wines, Seestedt is making Oregon a major name in distilled products, including his top-notch gins.
If you’re looking for a holiday gift to impress your favorite gin lover, look no further than Ransom Old Tom Gin ($31.99), which has garnered numerous competition awards including Gold Medals at the Seattle International Spirits Awards, American Craft Spirits Association, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, San Diego Spirits Festival and others.
This is an interesting gin insofar as it doesn’t look like standard gin; it’s not clear. It’s amber colored, a “historically accurate revival of the predominant Gin in fashion during the mid 1800’s and the golden age of American cocktails.”
According to Ransom, The Old Tom Gin recipe “was developed in collaboration with historian, author, and mixologist extraordinaire David Wondrich. Old Tom is the Gin for mixing classic cocktails dating from the days before prohibition. Its subtle maltiness is the result of using a base wort of malted barley, combined with an infusion of botanicals in high proof corn spirits. The final distillation is run through an alambic pot still in order to preserve the maximum amount of aromatics, flavor and body. Only the ‘heart of the hearts’ (the very best portion of distillate) is retained for this special bottling.”
Use 2 ½ oz Old Tom stirred with 1 oz blood orange, 4 drops Angostura bitters, and a splash of simple syrup to make a Custom Old Tom cocktail. Cheers!
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.