Attention Cocktail

The original recipe for this called for equal parts of all four ingredients. Such a drink would be far too unbalanced, but feel free to give it a try if you want. The recipe shown here is more of a modified dry Martini, with the absinthe and violette being supporting actors instead of co-stars.


1 1/2 ounces gin

3/4 ounce dry vermouth

1/4 ounce Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur

2 dashes absinthe

2 dashes Bitter Truth Orange Bitters


Stir with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.


TheBalch 15 May 2012
6:10 pm

Great to see another recipe using crème de violette, Mr. Hess! I was just given a bottle as a gift, but it’s the Rothman & Winter brand rather than the Bitter Truth product. Do you have any experience with the R&W crème de violette? I’m curious to know how they compare, but the Bitter Truth folks don’t seem to have much a foothold in my area.

Rhett 16 May 2012
9:48 am

This is one of our favourites at home (or its drier variation, The Arsenic & Old Lace). Great to have you back, Robert!!

TheBalch: I find R&W very perfumey, and only use it very, very sparingly if I want the violet colour (which can be accomplished using other kinds, but I only have two at home). My favourite of the ones I’ve tasted is the Tempus Fugit from California. It’s much less sweet and subtle so you can really get floral aromas and flavours from it, and it doesn’t have any artificial colouring in it either - which is great unless you want that Aviation-blue or Attention-pruple. You can also add a little more into your drink as I find it balances much easier.



TheBalch 16 May 2012
11:54 am

Thanks Rhett! I’ll keep that in mind. I remember trying to make an Aviation with it using Mr. Hess’ recipe, and feeling that the Rothman & Winter sort of took over; since Mr. Hess is so careful to balance each recipe, I figured that it must have something to do with the liqueur itself. It sounds like I was right! I’m looking forward to trying other kinds.

Robert Hess 16 May 2012
12:01 pm

It can always be difficult to take into account the differences between products sometimes. I typically try to avoid being too specific about which brand “needs” to be used in a particular cocktail, I feel it would otherwise confuse the audience who might have a perfectly acceptable product on their shelf, but feel they have to buy the specific one I might be using in a video. And since I haven’t tried all possible products, in all possible drinks, it’s hard for me to say how this particular drink might need to be made with this particular brand.

If you have the product, but not the brand, you might see me using in an episode, go ahead and try it out to see what you think. Then, if you don’t quite care for its flavor profile, see if you can make adjustments to bring it into line. And of course feel free to report back here (or to the discussion thread of whichever cocktail it is you were experiementing with) to let us know your findings!


andy 17 May 2012
3:10 pm

It’s great to start seeing some violet liqueurs on the market.  Making it at home isn’t brain surgery, but it can be a challenge to obtain as many violet petals as it takes to really infuse the flavor.  Especially when all you want to do is sit down and enjoy a cocktail.  I think I may try this one tonight.

Can I ask where you found that cocktail glass?  You’ve used it in several episodes, but I can’t find anything commercially available that comes anywhere close.  Every glass I’ve found that even slightly resembles the shape seems to be a minimum of 11oz!  It’s such an elegant design, but I’d love to find it in something closer in size to a cocktail glass than a punch bowl.

Robert Hess 17 May 2012
3:14 pm

Andy, I’ve all but given up trying to find commercial cocktail glasses that are both more interesting than the traditional “V” glass as well as small enough to fit a properly made Martini. Most of the glassware you will see me using on the show are ones that I’ve picked up from various antique stores, which means there really isn’t any way to point you to a good source of them unfortunately.


blair frodelius 19 May 2012
11:57 am

I have to agree with Robert that it’s pretty rare to find any kind of standardization in a liqueur.  I’ve tried several crème de violettes, as well as a few parfait amours.  They are all different in levels of sweetness, floral character and mouth feel.  What I’ve done (when financially feasible) is to purchase several brands of a particular style and then make a cocktail (say the aviation) with each one and see how it works.  This can make for an interesting cocktail party and really show off the highs and lows of each liqueur.



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