Arsenic & Old Lace Cocktail

Arsenic & Old Lace Cocktail

Arsenic & Old Lace Cocktail


  • 1¾ oz. of a floral contemporary style gin, such as Nolet Silver
  • ½ of Dry Vermouth
  • ½ of Creme de Violette
  • rinse of Absinthe (~ ⅛ oz.)
  • 2 dashes of Orange Bitters such as Angostura Orange Bitters
  • Drop absinthe into the bowl of coupe glass. Turn glass so that the absinthe evenly covers the inside. Pour out any excess.
  • In mixing glass over ice, add gin, vermouth, creme de violette and bitters. Stir for about fifteen seconds. Strain into coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.


Notes on the Arsenic & Old Lace Cocktail

How the Attention cocktail came to get its new name, the Arsenic & Old Lace Cocktail is still unclear. The cocktail’s origins date back to 1917 where Hugo Ensslin’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks included it as “The Attention.”

Hugo Ensslin Attention Cocktail or the Arsenic and Old Lace Cocktail

The Attention became the Atty and then sometime after the 1944 release of Frank Capra’s Arsenic and Old Lace, the cocktail adopted the name of the Cary Grant hit.

The nineteen-teens’ obsession with equal parts cocktails aside; modern palates have tweaked Ensslin’s garish recipe— the only constant over the last century is that gin in some quantities prepared with absinthe, Vermouth and Creme de Violette.

If I were to guess the Absinthe might be the arsenic, and the violette was the Old Lace. But your guess is good as mine.

Last updated June 21st, 2018 by Aaron Knoll