THL: What is it?
Small's is a New Western Style of gin distilled with savory botanicals.
THL: Why should you try it?
Ransom updated a 19th-century recipe with the addition of locally sourced Oregon botanicals and fruits for Small’s Gin that respects both history and local, seasonal ingredients.
Small’s Gin lists raspberries, star anise, caraway, angelica, orange, lemon, coriander, juniper, and cardamom in their botanical mix. This hooch works particularly well in a modern Gin and Tonic where the juniper is toned down, and the cardamom is ramped up, and pairs well with spicy Indian food.
THL: Who makes it?
At Ransom Spirits, master distiller Tad Seestedt makes one of the only Old Tom gins available (aptly named Ransom Old Tom Gin), as well as WhipperSnapper Oregon Spirit Whiskey, Gewurztraminer Grappa, and The Vodka.
Tad started Ransom with a few credit cards and his savings account in 1997, making spirits and wine. Eleven years later, Ransom grew to be able to purchase a 40-acre farm and combine the spirits and winemaking into a single venture.
THL: What does it taste like?
The heavy dose of cardamom in this gin is reminiscent of sweet and creamy Indian desserts. It is a bit surprising at first, but fans of cardamom may have a new favorite as this unusual gin is a style unto itself. It can be a challenge mixing in cocktails as the cardamom is so powerful, but adventurous mixologists will have a great time finding the perfect pairing.
THL: How should you drink it?
Matt Seiter suggests making a sweet gin and juice to stand up against this gin's spiciness.
1-1/2 ounces Small's Gin
1/2 ounces lemon juice
2 dashes Maraschino Liqueur
2 dashes simple syrup
2 dashes grenadine
Sparkling wine topper
Mix all ingredients, add ice, shake, and strain into cocktail glass; garnish with fresh orange peel.