Basically, a Martini with attitude
A classic Martini is made with dry gin and dry vermouth. So is The Atty Cocktail.
But the Atty adds a kiss of absinthe and crème de violette – just enough to give its flavor a hint of anise and violet, and its hue a tinge of blue.
The Atty is perfect for sipping before dinner on a warm summer’s night. But really, we’d welcome it anytime. Because suave is always in style.
Recipe: The Atty Cocktail
The Atty Cocktail dates back at least to 1930 (more history in the Notes).
Its combination of ingredients — gin, dry vermouth, absinthe, and crème de violette — is unusual in cocktails. That’s probably because, used injudiciously, their flavors can clash.
But they work in this drink. The Atty calls for only small amounts of absinthe and crème de violette (just a splash of each), so everything is in balance. But if the quantities we suggest for these ingredients are still too much for your taste, simply reduce them until the drink seems “right” to you.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and serves one.
- 2 ounces dry gin
- 1 ounce dry vermouth
- ½ teaspoon absinthe (you may prefer a bit less – say, ¼ teaspoon)
- ½ teaspoon crème de violette (reduce this to ¼ teaspoon if you reduce the amount of absinthe)
- lemon twist for garnish (optional)
- Combine all ingredients (except garnish) in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir briskly until well chilled (about 30 seconds).
- Strain into a cocktail glass (preferably one that’s been chilled). Add a lemon twist for garnish, if you wish, and serve.
- We stir rather than shake this drink because the ingredients are clear. Shaking can introduce small oxygen bubbles, which make a drink cloudy. Cloudiness isn’t a problem if some of the ingredients are opaque (think citrus juice), and so we generally shake those drinks.
- Having said that: Go ahead and shake this drink if you prefer – it’ll taste just as good.
- Crème de violette is a blue-hued liqueur that has a faint violet taste. Most good liquor stores should carry it (and if they don’t, you can ask them to order it).
- You can also use crème de violette in The Blue Moon Cocktail and The Yale Cocktail.
- Absinthe is an anise-flavored spirit. For years, the sale of absinthe was illegal in the US and much of Europe because one of its ingredients was thought to be addictive and psychoactive. It’s back on the market now, though it can be expensive.
- As a substitute for outlaw absinthe, people developed “pastis” – anise-flavored liqueurs (such as Pernod). If you don’t have real absinthe on hand, you can use pastis in this drink.
- Any good dry vermouth and dry gin will work in this drink. Anything with a “name” label should be fine.
- Our recipe calls for a 2:1 ratio of gin to dry vermouth. The original recipe had a ratio of 3:1. That’s good, but we think more vermouth works better in this drink (the opposite is true when it comes to a classic Martini).
- As is the case with so many cocktails, the origins of the Atty are obscure. But a recipe for the Atty Cocktail first appeared in print in the 1930 edition of Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book.
- There was an earlier drink called The Attention that also contains gin, dry vermouth, absinthe, and crème de violette. The Attention appeared in Hugo Ensslin’s 1917 Recipes for Mixed Drinks.
- The Attention calls for equal quantities of the gin, vermouth, absinthe, and crème de violette. That’s way unbalanced, so the drink is not very good (to our humble taste buds, at least).
- Attention . . . Atty. Similar names, no? And the ingredients are identical, though used in different proportions. So Craddock may have been inspired by Ensslin. Ya think?
- Programming Note: Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, summer is officially here in our part of the world. So it’s time to start our annual Summer Sippin’ and Snarfin’ Series. What’s that? Well, during most of the year we publish one cocktail recipe a month (usually the first post of the month). But when summer arrives, we tend to up our drinks quotient – because hot weather is thirsty weather, right? So expect to see more cocktail recipes than usual through Labor Day, along with summer-appropriate food dishes. We may even post some back-to-back cocktails. Because, well, thirst.
“So Summer Sippin’ and Snarfin’ is finally here,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “My favorite time of the year!”
“We have lots of good drinks ahead of us,” I said. “But it will take long hours of research to choose the best ones for the blog. Work, work, work!”
“Fortunately, we have a thirst for knowledge,” said Mrs K R.
“And we’re dedicated to real-world, hands-on testing,” I said. “Only the best for our readers.”
“We’re selfless, really,” said Mrs K R. “Just hope we don’t find ourselves staggering . . . under the workload, I mean.”
That’s a risk we’ll have to take.
You may also enjoy reading about:
The Martini Cocktail
The Blue Moon Cocktail
The Yale Cocktail
The Aviation Cocktail
The Corpse Reviver Cocktail
The Bee's Knees Cocktail
Or check out the index for more
wow...stunning photos, John. I bet the cocktail lovers are going to love this too.
Hi Angie, it's a really good drink! Thanks for the comment.
I'm a fan of both gin and abscinth, but I've never had them together (or even in the same evening). Sounds interesting.
Hi Jeff, not a combo I would have thought of, but it's great! Thanks for the comment.
Magnificent color!!! I wish I could "help" you and Mrs. K. R. wade through the many cocktail recipes you have ahead of you but, I'm sure you two will enjoy every sip!!! Thanks for sharing, John...
Hi Louise, great color, great flavor. Wish you could "help" us too! Good to hear from you, and thanks for the comment.
I would love to give it a try, John! It really seems tasty!
Hi Agness, it has wonderful flavor! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Indeed a martini with attitude. Love that!
Hi Denise, attitude can be good. :-) Thanks for the comment.
GORGEOUS!! I've never heard of absinthe and crème de violette but this sounds so interesting...
Hi Chris, it really is an interesting drink. And its hue is such a pretty shade of pale blue! Thanks for the comment.
So pretty and exotic looking with the tinge of blue! Enjoy all the cocktail experimentation as the summer rolls on....
Looks like water to me but I bet I'd get a pretty good buzz for it!
The pale blue color has my undivided attention! Such a gorgeous photo to with this special cocktail!
Hi Liz, cool drink, huh? We'll definitely enjoy our experimentation! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Vicki, this is a bit on the strong side, true, but awfully good! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Deb, isn't this pretty? And tasty. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh yes. My husband would be ALL over this! Anything to make him feel more sophisticated! LOL!
Hi GiGi, your husband would love this -- what's more sophisticated than a Martini with attitude? :-) Thanks for the comment.
I get so excited when I have all of the ingredients-which I do- so I'm surely ready to sip and snarf! This might not wait to Friday!
John, you make the most amazing concoctions! This is gorgeous!
Is it wrong that I want to try this beautiful drink at 6:00 in the morning? My day would be done and I'd have to go back to bed, but this drink looks like it would be worth it. Haha - so lovely - and perfect for sipping. Love your photos too! Have a happy weekend.
Hi Abbe, you and Manservant will really like this! And maybe it'll inspire him to finish your Folly. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Pat, it IS really pretty, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Tricia, this IS a bit early for this! But you're right -- worth it. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Wow! This one sounds tasty.
I'm looking forward to the back-to-back cocktails. You know, 'cause I'm thirsty! I love the flavors in this drink. It sounds so perfect for summer. Happy Thursday!
Hi Pam, it is, it is. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Kelise, thirst is a terrible thing, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi John, this drink certainly looks like it could quench my thirst, love the tint of blue, such a elegant drink.
Hi Cheri, the blue is really interesting! Really fun shade of light blue. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh wow I LOVE this cocktail, it looks awesome and suave as you said. I have absinthe and crème de violette at home so will be makign this for sure. Thansk for sharing John!
Hi Evelyne, this is a really nice one -- such an interesting flavor. Thanks for the comment.
The sky blue color is so sophisticated. GREG
Hi Greg, isn't that a neat shade of blue? Love it! And the flavor too, of course. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love gin, but never had crème de violette...it sure sounds awesome! Thanks for the recipe John!
Have a wonderful rest of the week :)
Hi Juliana, crème de violette is a lovely ingredient. And this is a lovely drink. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Headed to Pagosa Springs for a 4 day week with friends and sitting here wishing I had your liquor cabinet. This is a group that would probably start with your first cocktail and start working our way through. However, I would start with this Atty and work backwards. Love liquor with an anise flavor. Looking forward to more this summer. Thanks John!
Hi MJ, this is a good one -- think you'd like. And it'd make sense to work your way backwards through all the cocktails we've written about -- the very first one was the Corpse Reviver (posted on a New Year's Day), which is a classic hangover drink. :-) Have a great weekend, and thanks for the comment.
It certainly is a martini with attitude! Sounds great.
Hi Caroline, it is great! You like gin, so you'd like this. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Oh my , what an elegant drink. I would love to have sip or two.
Hi Gerlinde, it's a good one. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Woah! What a stunning looking drink, John. So much in love with the soothing color of this cocktail. I have never had 'crème de violette' before. But I guess I would totally adore this beauty. :)
Hi Anu, good looks, good flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is probably the most elegant cocktail I've ever seen, so sleek and clean ~ I actually have a huge bottle of creme de violette in the back of the liqueur cabinet, yay!
I have found myself really enjoying absinthe lately. It adds a wonderful anise flavor that I really love.
Hi Sue, time to use that! In this, of course. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Laura, bet you'll like this -- you can definitely taste the absinthe, but it's subtle. Really good! Thanks for the comment.
Absinthe...very interesting. I have not had anything like this before. I guess it is best that you and Mrs. Riff get on to your diligent QA testing this summer on new cocktails. I will be right over to join you. Take Care
HI Bobbi, you'd be most welcome! :-) Thanks for the comment.
So clear!!! Great photos and I bet great drink as well.
Hi Amira, it really is clear, isn't it? And full of flavor! Thanks for the comment.
You take the best photos of drinks, John - wow! I love an easy drink that has a little something extra too. This will be sure to impress at the next grilling party.
Hope you're enjoying your weekend :)
Such an elegant and yum cocktail. Love it. :)
Hi Robyn, this is a good one. :-) Thanks for that kind comment.
Hi Ritu, yum is the word! Thanks for the comment.
Oooh, absinthe! I always feel a tad wicked adding it to any cocktail. Probably because of its infamous past. But of course, that just makes it all the more fun to drink, too. ;)
Hi Carolyn, I know what you mean about absinthe! I kinda feel the same way. So I use it a lot. :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a beautiful drink. I just love the pomp and circumstance of the traditional way that absinthe is served, I've been looking for the spoon to hold the sugar cube over the glass for ages, with no luck. I'll have to check a few antique shops again next time I go to Europe. I'm glad you'll be upping the ante for drinks over the summer, it's always so fun to read the quips at the end of the post. Cheers!
Hi Eva, we love doing more drinks during the summer! I need an absinthe spoon, too. Think Amazon has them (or did at one time) -- don't know about the quality, though. Thanks for the comment.
Beautiful drink. The pictures are gorgeous! Perfect for summer.
Hi Dawn, it's a really nice one. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Have no idea what this is since we do not drink alcohol but I love your caption - martini with an attitude!
Hi Taruna, this isn't the recipe for you, but it's still fun to look at the pictures! :-) Thanks for the comment.
This would be atty delicious :D Seriously you always amaze me with your cocktail concoctions John, this is another sensational offering and perfect for a relaxed get together. The liquid is so brilliantly CLEAR :D
Hi Merryn, :-) I love clear drinks, although they're a PAIN to photograph! Thanks for the comment.
How elegant! You always come up with drinks I've never heard of, and this one looks so pretty.
Hi Beth, it is pretty! And tasty. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is a nice way to use gin. I have few drinks that I know that involves gin like Gin Pomelo, Beer Gin and Chocolate Gin, you definitely added one on the list
Hi Raymund, the flavor of this is wonderful! You'll need to buy more gin. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Am all about a martini with attitude! Love your drink photos and the quips between you and Mrs. KR - though now am wishing I rebranded my blog to "Savory Snarfin" after reading "So Summer Sippin’ and Snarfin" :)
Hi Shashi, I'd make it Shashi's Savory Snarfin'! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Post a Comment