Creme de Violette Cocktails
If you’re wondering if a Creme de Violette cocktails are just a “purple drinks,” think again! They’re much more magical than that.
Crème de Violette is a liqueur, which is enhanced with, either natural or artificial, violet flower-flavoring and coloring. A variety of bases can be used for this liqueur, although brandy is the most commonly used one. Any neutral spirit base can be used, though, or a combination of the two.
The popularity of this liqueur comes from its aroma and taste profile, which is distinctly floral and sweet. The flower became popular for its flavor during the early to mid-20th century due to the introduction of violet-flavored candies in the US. However, its production is known to date as far back at the early 19th century when it was served with dry Vermouth, or alone as a cordial.
One of the most popular brands of Crème de Violette is Benoit Serres Liqueur de Violette. Sadly, this brand is very difficult to locate, even in France! Benoit Liqueur de Violette is made with a neutral spirit base, to which a smaller portion of Armagnac is added later on. Unavailable in the United States for decades, in mid-2007, Haus Alpenz happily began importing it again. The brand Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette is only made using Queen Charlotte and March violet flowers found in the Alps. For those of you craving a little pop culture history tie-in with your cocktail, the rarity of this liqueur was implemented into a 1965 episode of the Avengers, titled “Two’s a Crowd.”
Making this aromatic liqueur on your own doesn’t need to cause trepidation to arise within. Immediately following is a very simple, but precise, recipe for the infusion of the sweet flavor of this widely known, but little-appreciated, flower.
Making your own Crème de Violette:
(Some caution here: make sure you are in possession of the variety of violet that is edible and that they’ve been properly cleaned).
- Combine equal parts of crystallized violets (or muddled fresh flowers) and sugar into a small saucepan.
- Add water and stir until you can’t distinguish the difference between the sugar and the water.
- Bring the heat up to medium-low.
- Let the violet syrup bubble for just a couple of minutes.
- Set the syrup aside overnight, to ensure proper infusion of all the wonderful, violet flavor.
What Can I Make with Creme de Violette?
There are many popular cocktails I discovered that include Crème de Violette. The Blue Moon cocktail should be an easy build and enjoyable drink for any crowd of family or friends to enjoy.
Blue Moon Recipe
- In a cocktail shaker, combine ice, gin, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and Crème de Violette.
- Shake all of that up for approximately one or two minutes (just to make sure everything is incorporated).
- Strain the cocktail into a tumbler or cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a brandied cherry.
(If you don’t have a shaker, you can employ the chilled glass and cap it off with a larger plastic cup, making sure the seal is tight before you shake it)