The History of Old Tom Gin During the UK prohibition period, publicans got around the rules by having a cut out shape of a black tom cat on the outside wall. Customers could insert payment through a slot and the publican served the gin which came out of the cat’s mouth on the outside. The Historic Style of Old Tom Gins Distilling was not an exact science at the time of the prohibition. Sweetness was added, normally from licorice root, along with very punchy botanicals to hide faults in the gin. Settlers Old Tom Gin We added the Licorice root for sweetness and then some Star Anice to support it. Then we decided that our Old Tom would be spot on for winter if we added some cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg finishing with some warmth from native pepper berries. Perfect as a G & T garnished with fresh sage and a slice of lemon or try it for a perfect Martinez.