One Bottle One Drink: Arsenic & Old Lace

If you are a cocktail blogger and spirits enthusiast, chances are high that over time a large number of bottles gather on your shelves. This is why I decided to start mixing classic and modern cocktails using one bottle after the other in my spirits cabinet. I am going to start at the top left corner and (hopefully) finish in the lower right. First off, I will start with a rather unusual Absinthe cocktail.


Before I start with the featured cocktail, you need to know that I have organized my liquor cabinet alphabetically according to spirits categories. – Any other order feels like insanity to me! This means that also the articles here will be ordered according to their main spirits or ingredients.

A for absinthe

So, let’s start with absinthe! I only own two bottles of the green fairy, but both are rather good. The first one in question, the Oliver Matter Brevans A.O. Spare, I bought after a Trinklaune tip. It is quite wormwood forward, with the anise flavour a little bit subdued. Therefore, I went looking for an absinthe cocktail that could handle those heavy wormwood notes.

Weird, but delicious drink

It turned out to be quite hard to find cocktails specifying the type of absinthe you should use. Sure, most recipes call for a certain brand of absinthe. However, if you do not know the flavour profile of this specific absinthe… In the end I just browsed for old absinthe cocktails at the CocktailDB. I ended up with the Arsenic & Old Lace, because I was drawn to the name of the cocktail. The drink itself is an odd combination of gin, absinthe, dry vermouth and violet liqueur. On top of that, with 1/2 oz of violet liqueur the original cocktail also has odd proportions. To be honest, I did not dare to use half an ounce and instead followed an advice to switch the proportions of the dry vermouth and violet liqueur.

Arsenic & Old-Lace::
View in: de en
5,25 cl Citadelle Gin
2,25 cl Oliver Matter Brevans Spare Absinthe
1,5 cl Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
0,75 cl Edmond Briottet Violet Liqueur
Stir – strain – chilled Cocktail glass;
Garnish: Primofiore Lemon Twist;
Song: Frightened Rabbit – I Wish I Was Sober;

The resulting drink is still very spirit-forward and clearly something for the advanced drinker. Yet, with its herbal and violet notes in combination with a certain fresh citrus flavour, the drink seems kind of balanced. On the one hand, if you do not like anise, violets or wormwood, you probably should choose another cocktail. On the other hand, if you are an absinthe fan, you should definitely try this cocktail! Even if you perhaps just need one drink the whole evening.

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