TV PRESENTER & MEDIA PERSONALITY
Gin Society talks to Australian TV presenter, radio personality and recent I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! alumni Tom Williams.
What do you like about gin as a spirit?
I like the freshness of gin. I’m a bittersweet kind of a guy, so that combination of bitterness and citrus sits well with me. I like my beverage to refresh me and to give me a good buzz. I’ve gone through my rum days and they could be unkind.
Have you tried any new gins lately? Or do you have any current favourites?
Internationally, Le Tribute was just one of those real delights from Spain. It was very tasty – that bottle didn’t last long. RIVO, the Italian gin, was the same. It took me immediately to a beautiful overseas place. I really enjoyed it.
But, in keeping with 2020, I became very aware of making sure I shopped locally to support Australian brewers and distillers. The MGC [Melbourne Gin Company] Single Shot Gin was lovely. Four Pillars is great too and is something I buy almost every fortnight.
Do you have a particular way you like to drink gin?
I have a gin and tonic at 4pm. The kids are home from school. It’s been a lovely sunny day or perhaps a successful day in business. I’ll cheers to that. I always have my favourite radio program on – Kate, Tim and Joel on Nova. Tim is one of my very best mates. We both have a great appreciation for gin.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what three gins would you bring with you and why?
I’ll start with the Le Tribute because it’s a great all-rounder. Then, I’d have to go with the Four Pillars Spiced Negroni Gin – it’s just delish. And the Gothic Gin, which I had a couple of months ago, as it was just a standout gin.
What’s the most enjoyable gin experience you’ve had?
I was on safari in South Africa earlier this year, a couple of days before entering I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! I get in this open 4×4 and the tour guide is like, ‘Now listen, the number one rule is you stay in the vehicle. We’re going to see everything. They might come at us. They might run away. Just don’t get out of the vehicle.’
So, we’re halfway through this tour and the sun is setting and he stops right in the middle of this beautiful open space. There are giraffes nearby, rhinos sitting in a big dam, and baby elephants off in the distance. He goes, ‘Tom, there’s an esky in the back. Why don’t we jump out and we’ll have a drink?’ I was thinking ‘Mate, three hours ago you told me I couldn’t get out of the vehicle!’He pulls out this tray with a beautiful glass and goes: ‘I have beer. I have vodka…’ And I say, ‘Do you have gin and tonic?’ He did. It was one of those moments – just sitting in the middle of this beautiful safari with all this wildlife around me, having many gin and tonics while watching the sun go down. Amazing.The other standout was the first time I was in Singapore, having a Singapore Sling at Raffles’ Long Bar. Two experiences – one of wilderness and wildlife and the other in a refined bar with heaps of history.
You’re a gin-based cocktail – what would you be and why?
I’d be a Negroni. I’ve got a nice way of making Negronis and everyone who comes over to my place now knows that. I had a reputation for a long time there as the Margarita guy, but that’s gone and now I’m the Negroni guy. I’ve got a couple of really cool ball-ice-cube makers now too.
Is there anything gin-based you’re hoping to find under the tree this Christmas?
My cocktail set is complete now, but I think I need some more glassware. If you’re buying a gift for someone, a beautiful bottle of gin is great but if you accompany that with the right merchandise – like glassware and a cocktail set – it is a really classy present to give. If you’re on the receiving end of that, well, you better get cracking and make that person a really nice drink!
What do you like most about the Gin Society?
The education I’m receiving. I’m feeling very enlightened. I love entertaining and having everyone over at our place. With every delivery, I feel as if I’m moving in the right direction when it comes to what I’m going to serve up to my friends. The distillers are also really interesting people and I love learning about people who are so into what they do. The dedication and the investment they put into producing such outstanding products is brilliant, and the Gin Society throws light on those people. It’s wonderful that the momentum is gaining and the word’s getting out – plus, no more Margaritas for me!