Not to be confused with the dark comedy movie Arsenic and Old Lace starring Cary Grant, the Larceny and Old Lace is a variation on the Manhattan. It was consumed in the movie The Great Gatsby (the remake with Leonardo DiCaprio, not the original with Robert Redford). My fellow cocktailian Michael Bounds, who created the Ides of March, introduced me to the Larceny and Old Lace.
Combine in a mixing glass with ice, stir with a suave and possibly criminal demeanor, and strain into a chilled glass. Orange peel or amarena cherry garnish optional.
Considering the name of this drink, you can use Larceny bourbon, featured in the A Thief In The Night and the Inside Job, but you don't have to. Use whatever bourbon you prefer. As always, the sweet vermouth should be reasonably fresh. So what's Cynar (pronounced "chai-nar")? It's an Italian artichoke flavored amaro. If you're thinking "artichoke, that's disgusting," then you and Ms. Cocktail Den agree. But here's the thing -- she enjoyed Cynar. If you like artichokes as I do, you'll definitely enjoy Cynar. The Cynar gives the Larceny and Old Lace a subtle vegetable undertone, which tastes much better than it sounds.
The Larceny and Old Lace can go on your Most Wanted list of criminal themed cocktails such as the Scofflaw, the Racketeer, and the Jack Rose. To paraphrase an old line, if you can make the time, do the Larceny and Old Lace as a cocktail crime.