Hemlock Cocktail Recipe

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Hemlock Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Hemlock cocktail is a mysterious and intriguing drink, much like its namesake. It's not for the faint of heart, but for those who enjoy a cocktail with a bit of a bite. It's a modern creation, not tied to any particular era or bartender, but it's quickly gained popularity among those who like their drinks strong and complex. It's perfect for those who enjoy exploring unique flavor combinations and aren't afraid to try something new.

How Hemlock Tastes?

The Hemlock cocktail is a complex mix of flavors. It's strong, with a noticeable kick from the gin, but it's also slightly sweet, thanks to the vermouth. The absinthe adds a touch of bitterness, while the orange bitters provide a hint of citrus. It's a cocktail that's both refreshing and robust.

Interesting facts about Hemlock

  • The Hemlock cocktail is named after the poisonous plant, but don't worry, this drink is perfectly safe to consume.
  • Despite its strong flavor profile, the Hemlock cocktail is surprisingly easy to make.
  • The Hemlock cocktail is a great choice for those who enjoy gin-based cocktails.


A few good options for Hemlock are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Gin is the backbone of this cocktail, providing the strong base alcohol and a complex array of botanical flavors. Using 2 oz gives the right kick without overshadowing the other ingredients. Too much gin, and you risk turning your Hemlock into a pine tree massacre; too little, and it might as well be a herbal tea party. Alternative: Vodka will provide a cleaner taste if you're not a fan of botanicals.

Mary Mitkina

Dry Vermouth

Dry Vermouth adds a subtle, aromatic herbaceousness. At 1 oz, it balances the gin just right—think of it as the sidekick that tells the hero (gin) when to chill out. Without it, you lose depth. It's the tightrope walker of the mix, and without it, the performance falls flat. Alternative: Use a splash of white wine for a less boozy version but expect a less complex flavor profile.

Alex Green


Absinthe, also known as la fée verte (the Green Fairy), is included for its distinctive anise flavor. A dash is just enough to add complexity and a hint of mystery—any more, and you might as well be sipping on licorice. Drop the absinthe, and the cocktail loses its enchanting spell. Alternative: Anise liqueur can be an option, but remember, it's not as potent as the Fairy.

Emma Rose

Orange Bitters

2 dashes of Orange Bitters bring a citrus zing and round out the flavors. It's like the final puzzle piece that makes the picture complete. Skip on the bitters, and the drink flattens out, missing that final touch. Alternative: Aromatic bitters can be used for a more spiced taste.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Hemlock Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add the gin, vermouth, absinthe, and orange bitters.
  3. Stir well until the mixture is well chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • Make sure to use a high-quality gin for the best flavor.
  • Don't skip the chilling step - it's essential for bringing out the flavors in this cocktail.
  • If you want to add a little extra flair, consider garnishing with a twist of orange peel.

Perfect Pairings


  • Prosciutto di Parma: With its salty-sweet flavor, it cuts through the botanicals of the gin and complements the herbal notes.
  • Smoked Salmon: Its fatty richness balances out the cocktail's sharpness and the citrus notes from the bitters.
  • Cheese Plate: Opt for bold cheeses like Blue Cheese or Gouda to stand up to the strong flavors in the drink.

Main Course

  • Roast Chicken: The subtle flavors of the chicken provide a canvas for the herbs and spices from the cocktail.
  • Pasta with Pesto: Pesto's herbal freshness harmonizes with the Green Fairy's (absinthe) kiss in the drink.


  • Lemon Tart: The acidity and sweetness will pair nicely with the botanical notes in the cocktail.

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What you could change in Hemlock

If you don't have absinthe, you can substitute it with Pernod or another anise-flavored liqueur. If you're not a fan of gin, you could try using vodka instead.

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And of course - twists🍹

Cucumber Hemlock

  • Add 3 slices of cucumber to the mixing glass before the other ingredients.
  • Replace gin with cucumber-infused gin for an even fresher taste.
  • This twist adds a spa-like refreshment quality that makes the cocktail feel garden-fresh. The cucumber's green crunch whispers summer secrets into the concoction.

Hemlock Royale

  • Top the strained cocktail with a splash of champagne.
  • Add a lemon twist for garnish.
  • The bubbly champagne gives it a royal ascent, lifting the botanicals to dance among the stars. It's Hemlock dressed in a ball gown ready for a night out.

Herbal Hemlock

  • Muddle a sprig of rosemary and a few basil leaves in the mixing glass before adding the other ingredients.
  • This version takes you on a walk through Mother Nature's herb garden. Each sip is like a refreshing breeze through a sunlit path, lined with botanical delights.

In case you forgot basics how to make Hemlock

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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Frequently Asked Questions on Hemlock

Is Hemlock usually a man's drink or a woman's drink?

Cocktails don't have gender preferences. Anyone who enjoys a strong and complex flavor profile can enjoy the Hemlock.

Is the Hemlock cocktail suitable for beginners?

Given its strong and complex flavor, it might be more appreciated by those already familiar with cocktail drinking. That said, everyone's taste is unique, and beginners might also enjoy it.

What is the best time to enjoy the Hemlock cocktail?

The Hemlock can be enjoyed any time. However, considering its potent mix, it might be more suitable for after dinner or late evening hours.

Will too much absinthe make me hallucinate?

Most modern absinthes are made to strict specifications and contain very low levels of thujone, the supposed 'hallucinogenic' ingredient. Responsible consumption of absinthe does not lead to hallucinations.

Are there non-alcoholic versions of the Hemlock cocktail?

You can opt to use non-alcoholic gin and keep the flavours of the original cocktail, hence possibly still creating an enjoyable non-alcoholic Hemlock cocktail.

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