I have been a fan of Dr Adam’s House of Botanicals since I first sampled their Spanish Bitters in around 2016 and was blown away after only ever having had Angostura bitters before. This undoubtedly had an impact on my decision to get into the drink industry and led me down the mixology rabbit hole.
I was very kindly sent this redesigned bottle of Raspberry Old Tom Gin and was initially shocked – if you follow the House of Botanicals team on social media or have been lucky enough to meet them then you will know their stance in regards to pink gin! Their products come from a position they faced as bartenders who wanted to know more about the ingredients they were using and delving deeper into the conventional bitters ranges. Immediately I was intrigued about what was going on behind the pink because knowing them it wouldn’t be some artificial colouring and flavouring!
Dr Adam’s House of Botanicals have a huge selection of bitters under their belt now, so bartenders and home mixologists can get that certain something in their sips. Not only bitters but a range of Old Tom Gins and the Pietro Nicola range of liqueurs,amari and fortified wines have followed.
As a bartender owned brand they have a passion for creating quality products that are unique and at the heart of it, useful. They set out to shine a light on botanicals and how they can marry and compliment and enhance primary flavours.
A rebrand this year sees a bolder label sporting the coat of arms which is homage to the Aberdeen and London city coat of arms. I like the new look. The labels are eye catching and the black panther is like a play on the Old Tom cat story. Their base London Dry gin is distilled in London before making it’s way up to their facility in Aberdeen where they compound it with saffron and Scottish raspberries. The Raspberry Old Tom is a seasonal expression, only made while they can source Scottish Raspberries. The botanicals used in this Raspberry Old Tom are juniper, angelica root, orris root, coriander seed, cassia bark, orange peel, lemon peel, saffron and raspberries. It is lightly sweetened with no more than 25g sugar per litre and is bottled at 47%.
On the nose
The beautiful pink hue leads your brain to think sweet before you have even tasted but on the nose it is much more juniper dominant than expected. Floral and fresh with a little peppery spice.
Piney juniper is all over my tongue and it’s got that classic London Dry undertone all while being bright and slightly citrussy. Fresh and zingy with raspberry, think fresh raspberry tart rather than jam.
It has lengthy floral notes, a gentle fruity hit that makes your whole mouth water and then the unmistakable Old Tom sweetness with a little warmth at the end. A joy.
This has appeal to those who do lean towards fruitier sweet gins whilst still being a solid option for those who like classic gins. The raspberry addition enhances the citrus botanicals rather than dominating them. It’s a flavoured gin that has evolved. Combining traditional gin traits with a modern twist on the flavour profile and managing to stay true to what an Old Tom gin really is about.
As a keen mixologist this gin just had me itching to play around with it! The sweetness in an Old Tom means it can take on so many heavier flavours and the raspberry tartness works well with herbal notes.
I first tested out their recommended Basil Smash.
This was one I had to change to suit my preference, I didn’t like the basil leaved muddled at all. I added the basil leaves to a shaker with ice along with the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup and shook heavily. I found this gave enough of the basil flavour for me and was delicate enough to play well with the raspberry.
•60ml Raspberry Old Tom
•8 basil leaves
•10ml sugar syrup
•15ml lemon juice
Add everything to a cocktail shaker and shake, strain over ice. Experiment and see what works for you, I wonder if I’m alone like it shaken and not muddled?
Next up I decided that raspberry’s and mandarin would be a match made in heaven.
I tried orange juice to begin with but needed more zing so I mixed the Raspberry Old Tom with Lime juice and mandarin juice, tried some dry vermouth and added Bokers Bitters. This was insanely good.
After this I enjoyed the gin with a light tonic but it really pairs well with a ginger ale. Garnished with some rosemary for a hint of that pungent lemon pine flavour.
I was gifted this bottle of Raspberry Old Tom Gin but not restrictions were placed on my review, all thoughts and opinions, as always, are my own.
Let me know of you decide to give this gin a go! Keep your eyes peeled to House of Botanicals Instagram page as there are always cheeky discounts being promoted there!