Hayman's Old Tom also know as Tom Gin or Old Tom was popular in the 18th century. The recipe is rarely used now but recently it was relaunched by Hayman's distillery.
Old Tom Gin (or Tom Gin or Old Tom) is a gin recipe popular in 18th-century England that now is rarely available. It is slightly sweeter than London Dry, but slightly drier than Dutch/Holland Gin/Jenever, thus is sometimes called The Missing Link. The name Old Tom Gin purportedly came from wooden plaques shaped like a black cat (an 'Old Tom') mounted on the outside wall of some pubs above a public walkway in 18th century England. Owing to a scandalous news report of a tragedy involving a murdered family, gin was outlawed and went underground, changing from a cloudy liquid to its modern clear form so as to appear like water. After a pedestrian deposited a penny in the cat's mouth, they would place their lips around a small tube between the cat's paws. From the tube would come a shot of gin, poured by the bartender inside the pub.
Contributions by July28th2008, SlubGlub, and J.P.Lon.