Lost and found

As most of you already know, two classic lost ingredients have started peppering liquor stores again–absinthe and crème de violette. I found the Lucid absinthe about a month ago, but it was only last week that I finally tracked down this beauty:


The first damn thing I did with it was to mix a proper Aviation, using Paul Clarke‘s recipe on Serious Eats.

What a revelation. The violette lifts this drink above the clouds, and it’s easy to picture yourself in the cocktail lounge of a Pan Am Clipper sipping this drink.

Then, last night, I remembered my vow to work through the absinthe cocktails in the Savoy. I grabbed my copy and started flipping through. I don’t really have a plan to work through them in order or anything like that. If a drink sounds good and we have all the ingredients, I’ll test it out. So it’s just coincidence that I landed in the A’s, with the Atty Cocktail.

I don’t know the meaning of the name. While stomping around on eGullet, Erik Ellestad suggests that it might come from the common abbreviation for attorney–which is ironic, given that Mrs. Bitters is a lawyer-coddler. Erik notes of the drink that

it is a fascinating, elegant and complex thing, with the hints of Absinthe and Violet trading each other for flavor dominance as you sip.

Atty!Couldn’t put it better myself. I didn’t quite use his proportions, instead crunching through the math in my head to adapt the Savoy formula (one part vermouth, three parts gin, and three dashes each of violette and absinthe) into an ounce-based recipe.

So, my version of the Atty.

Atty Cocktail

  • 3/4-oz. French vermouth
  • 2 1/2-oz. gin (I used Plymouth)
  • 1/4-tsp. crème de violette (Rothman and Winter)
  • 1/4-tsp. absinthe (Lucid)

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

The drink suffered from a not-long-enough stir, so be sure to either stir it well or shake it to make sure it’s properly chilled.


9 thoughts on “Lost and found

  1. You might be amused to know that the Atty and its variations — Attention and Arsenic & Old Lace — are enjoying a renaissance in Seattle, where we saw one or the other on three different menus over the course of a long weekend. 😀

    Having absoultely no evidence to back this up, I suspect Atty was named for a person — Attilio was a not-unpopular name in late 19th and early 20th century America (likewise Attie for girls).


  2. Hi!

    You’re right, except that if you look at Paul’s recipe, you’ll see that the original Aviation called for both maraschino and violette, which is what I’ve done here.

    As for the violette itself, there’s a new brand of it available in New York, San Francisco, and…I don’t know where else. It’s Rothman and Winter, imported/distributed by Haus Alpenz.


  3. Oh, my goodness, me and ATTYs on drink blogs twice in one weekend.

    People are going to start thinking I’m some sort of violette slut.

    Anyway, the lemon garnish comes from the recipe in Patrick Gavin Duffy’s book, “The Official Mixer’s Manual”. It and the Savoy share many recipes; but, Mr. Duffy seems to be slightly better about remembering to include the appropriate garnishes. To me that lemon twist really makes the drink.

    I’m also glad you stuck with the proper proportions. The drink is a dry martini with a couple extra dashes of flavoring agents. I do add a little extra dry vermouth when I make it vs. the exact Savoy proportions. I think it helps the Absinthe and Violette flavors cooperate.

    From what I can tell, though, the proper pre-stir volume for a Savoy Cocktail is about 2 oz, so keep that in mind when calculating dashes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s