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Creme de Violette


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#1 zora

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 12:58 PM

A friend of mine is looking for this violet-flavored French liqueur. Does anyone know if it's possible to get in the US? Any place to order it from?

Many thanks...
Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

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#2 trillium

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 05:08 PM

I don't think it gets imported into the US anymore. I searched high and low a year ago for it and couldn't find anywhere...so, this spring I attempted to make my own. It's described as tasting of violetes dipped in vanilla. My attempt is a half finished project since I'm moving, but I took a bunch of violets and part of a vanilla bean and put them into a small amount of grain alcohol for a week.

Posted Image

I was disappointed because it started out with a lovely purple color but then turned green with time, I expect because the alcohol extracted from the stems as well as the petals. I still need to add sugar, a little glycerol and some water. I'll let you know how it goes!

regards,
trillium

#3 drcocktail

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 06:57 PM

Creme de violette, so named is no more. The U.S. version, Creme Yvette ceased production in the late 60s - which was quite sad...it was by far the best. Contact Chas Jacquin et Cie to beg and complain.

The current French version, Liqueur de Violette is made by a small and old liqueur company named Benoit Serres. They are just beginning to get an inkling of international interest in this product. I do not believe they are yet set up to sell it directly to the consumer, though if you are fluent in French you can certainly try. They have a website but I suggest speaking to them for the assurance of a reply.

Liqueur de Violette CAN be ordered from here.

Bless the web!

And Trillium, even the real product is photo sensitive, though when it fades in light it turns more of an ash grey to my eyes. It's really true of almost all flower petal-colored spirits. I made some Boker's Bitters last year with Malva flowers, a beautiful purple color liquid resulted - brown/amber within a couple weeks of filtered light. Such is nature.

--Doc.

#4 Libationgoddess

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 01:31 AM

Also look into Monin. They produce a violette liqueur which I
picked up in London (at Gerrys Liquor Store; Old Compton St.)
a couple of months ago. Haven't seen it on these shores, but
at least there's the satisfaction of knowing that it is still attainable
somewhere on the planet.

Audrey

#5 beans

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 08:18 AM

Also look into Monin.  They produce a violette liqueur which I
picked up in London (at Gerrys Liquor Store; Old Compton St.)
a couple of months ago.  Haven't seen it on these shores, but
at least there's the satisfaction of knowing that it is still attainable
somewhere on the planet.

Audrey

I'm not sure how obtainable that is in the States. Last year we were sampling their syrups and one of the florals were Violet (which are NA).

Posted Image




edit: photo fix

Edited by beans, 28 March 2004 - 08:20 AM.


#6 drcocktail

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 08:23 AM

Well, that's GREAT news, Aud! How much alcohol does it contain? I want some!

--Doc.

#7 drcocktail

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 08:28 AM

Beans' you are quick, quick, quick! That is also what had my interest up. If Monin produces alcohol-containing versions of their products at least we have another option -- and another company to convince of the burgeoning U.S. market! Next step Forbidden Fruit? No! Pimento Dram! Yes!

--Doc.

Edited by drcocktail, 28 March 2004 - 08:28 AM.


#8 beans

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 08:43 AM

Ah, see Doc, I'm all over the new stuff. I have to. It is my job. :wub: :wink:

Besides I have a thing for the florals and last January took some johnny jump ups (in the same family as the violet) and infused them into a less than desirable holiday gift bottle of vodka I got from the very pleasant folks at Paramount Distillers. I took pictures to post on the Vodka Recommendations thread, but never got around to downloading the pictures from the camera, uploading to the web and then linking them to eG. :rolleyes:

The Violet Monin product can be found here ("Trendy") and here ("Exotic") without any additional information. :angry:


All that being said, I'm not a big fan of Monin and tend to prefer Joseph Cartron products. I wish they would start on some of the florals.

#9 drcocktail

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 09:18 AM

Well I call that ALL good news. Monin does violet under its own name - wonderful. Cartron does Parfait Amour, and it's only a hop skip and jump to a violet product from there. Can we get ANY of this stuff over here or via the web?

--Doc.

#10 beans

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 09:31 AM

Parfait Amour is impossible to obtain from Bols in the States. (I tried too -- I chatted with the lovely folks at William Grant & Sons, the sole importer of Bols products, to do my very best to get it in time for the eGCI). Marie Brizzard makes it too. However with Parfait Amour there are distinct orange notes to the liqueur's flavour. It certainly is not for everyone.

I ended up using a healthy shot provided by my friends at The Harbor Inn. Their owner travels Europe quite often and returns with several bottles of this and that. I snagged what I needed from him with his bottle of Parfait Amour and all went fairly well. :raz: He does have an unopened bottle of Creme de Violette on his shelf too....

Got a friend in the UK? (hee hee, mailing/shipping alcohol has a bizillion laws, regulations, rules generally prohibiting same)

Frustrating I know. I reside in one the most draconian of all states with ultra conservative lists of liquors and wines legally allowable to be distributed and sold. Grrrrr. :angry:

#11 drcocktail

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 10:42 AM

Yeah, Bols Parfait Amour used to be the most prevalent in this country, but now U.S. Bols liqueurs are all made here (though not their genever) and the parfait amour is one of their Dutch products.

No question, parfait amour is neither creme de violette nor a good substitute for it. My point is that anyone that makes a parfait amour has the raw ingredients right at hand to compound a violet liqueur with ease if they are so inclined.

The thing is, if they wanted to go one step further and make a product reminicent of the pinnacle of the art (Creme Yvette) they would need to make it a liqueur of candied violets - and the flavor is quite like that of pastilles. This is utterly superb in cocktails.

Parfait amour (Bols -and Marie Brizard too with the orange undertone Beans noted-) is a very 19th century "Ladies" style liqueur which I describe as tasting like marshmallows and grape jellybeans. It attacks a drink with the tenacity of a pitbull. Here's an example. I once (as an experiment) made a drink of 1/2 sweet & pleasant parfait amour and half Laphroig. The parfait amour won. Quite amazing really. I only have one drink I can tolerate with parfait amour (that I have yet found) and it is the 1920s Jupiter Cocktail which is superb but difficult to make.

Creme Yvette, I show off in the Blue Moon Cocktail and it is one of my favorites and not too tough once the ingredients are in hand.

As to shipping, I'm a silver-tongued devil, and if the source ever ships at all, I can usually get them to ship to me.

--Doc.

Edited by drcocktail, 28 March 2004 - 10:48 AM.


#12 DrinkBoy

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 08:55 AM

You can order Monin products (for home use) online here: http://www.moninstore.com/

However they are just coffee syrups, no alcohol.

I had ordered several of their syrups after Gary and Mardee did a writeup about a cocktail they put together using their Gingerbread syrup (http://www.amazon.co...ature/-/485546/).

In addition to their gingerbread, I picked up Lavendar, Rose, Violet, and their "Mojito Mint" (a stretch, I know, and I don't recommend it).

Their florals are nice, and have enough flavor for the florals to show themselves in a drink without having to add "too much" syrup to unbalance it.

-Robert

#13 beans

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 10:33 AM

In addition to their gingerbread, I picked up Lavendar, Rose, Violet, and their "Mojito Mint" (a stretch, I know, and I don't recommend it).

No Jasmine? :raz:

#14 drcocktail

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 10:38 AM

I like Monin syrups. Going slightly off topic here, two things: I've long had a fascination with syrups that were used as grenadine substitutes in certain places and in certain periods. One very prevalent one was raspberry syrup and it's a GREAT substitute. For that, I highly prefer Smucker's Raspberry Syrup. They call their syrup line truefruit syrups, and the raspberry especially lives up to that name.

One of the other substitutes was called groseille syrup (red currants). Of course creme de cassis is made of black currants, and Monin makes a black currant syrup. I wonder if they (Monin) would consider making a red currant syrup? It seems, otherwise, quite unobtainable.

(Back on track now,) Robert, Beans, Audrey, how would you describe the flavors of the violet syrup and/or liqueur?

Thanks! --Doc.

#15 beans

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 04:45 PM

Monin Violet Syrup: Describing the flavour is hard to do. Sweet, nectar-like. Seems familiar with some chocolate covered cream sort of candies I had, but don't remember when. Very subtle and delicate.

#16 Libationgoddess

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Posted 29 March 2004 - 07:31 PM

Hi Doc,

When I get back home, I will check the alcohol content and flavor profile of
Monin's Violet, and get back to you. I'm also heading back to London in May,
and will be more than happy to pick up a bottle for you if Gerry's has it in
stock. I picked one up for Dave on my last trip, and he said he was very
pleased with it.

I agree, Beans, I think that the Cartron line is exquisite, and it would be nice
if they produced a line of florals. The NY distributors don't offer their complete
line, but only a handful of products here, as Brizard, their main, high-end competition,
has a corner on the market here. I use Cartrons cassis, which is just incredible. But of
course, it's all over the UK, with all of the top bars stocking the entire line. I'm always
fascinated by what Europe is able to access.

Audrey

#17 Libationgoddess

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 09:13 PM

16% alcohol, and flavored very much like the violette candies of old were.
This has an extremely mild, peppery flavor, and just a hair of an aromatic
/camphor note. Also a very gentle, almost undetectable undertone
of honey, and the finish is a touch of the same flavor as the wax-candy
lips you used to get around halloween when you were a kid. Nice stuff.

Audrey

#18 DrinkBoy

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 07:33 AM

What? Monin has an alcoholic line? I always thought they just made flavored syrups and not actual Liqueurs.

-Robert

#19 drcocktail

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 11:37 AM

I briefly described the Creme Yvette flavor as reminicent of pastilles. The flavors for the violet liqueur as described by Beans and Audrey sound quite auspicious. I therefore want to hope one more thing...the Yvette had one other thing going for it. It was light. While sweet, it was not heavy and syrupy. This gave the cocktails containing it a certain bounce.

A parallel would be maraschino liqueur. It tastes wonderfully fresh, but its body -- its viscosity, its Brix scale -- it's heavy. Well, many great cocktails resulted from its use, but it is, to me, a limitation. I hope the Monin violet liqueur takes a light touch.

--Doc.

#20 zora

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 12:44 PM

Gah, I love this--I post a random question, turn my back for a few days...and come back to find a trove of info! (Although some is sad--alas, no Creme Yvette!) Thanks so much--I will investigate the leads.

Trillium, I'd love to hear how your at-home experiment turns out...
Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

#21 trillium

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 01:36 PM

I'll get to that as soon as I can find the damn box it's packed in. I forgot how much it sucks to move...sigh. Anyway, I'll be sure to report back. When I tasted a small amount of just the grain alcohol + violet and vanilla infusion it didn't taste violetty enough for me, but this may be because the fumes at 100% EtOH are so obnoxious they're burning up my nose before I can smell. Dilution and a bit of sugar may help. Alas, spring has sprung and the violets are not more so adding more isn't an option. I was thinking of getting some of those French violet pastilles and letting a few dissolve into the alcohol to up the violet flavor but then I'm worried that the anise will flavor it before I have a chance to strain it out.

It's funny about Creme de Yvette, I've heard the opposite of what is put forth here, that it was the worst of the violet liqueurs because it was so sweet and heavy compared to some of the French versions. Of course, The Gentleman's Companion is no help, the only mention of violet liqueur is to say that it's a fluffy abomination made for ladies who don't like alcohol (I'm paraphrasing). It was nearly, but not quite, as funny as reading the bits on Oriental houseboys preparing drinks to the Asian dude in the house.

regards,
trillium

#22 drcocktail

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 02:23 PM

Well, of course it is all a matter of taste, but I have a bottle of Creme Yvette and a bottle of Liqueur de Violette both at hand, and I think you'd agree with me if you sampled them side-by-side as I have.
:smile: --Doc.

#23 beans

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 04:53 PM

Alas, spring has sprung and the violets are not more so adding more isn't an option.

trillium,

Spring is springing here in oHIo with violets soon on the way. I've got millions of them in my yard, but this thread has inspired me to pick as many as I can for this otherwise I'd share! :raz:

My johnny jump-ups are also a bit faint as I infused them into 90 proof vodka. I'll have to pick up some more of those the next time I'm at the produce market. :smile:

#24 KatieLoeb

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 10:42 PM

Here are a couple of cocktail recipes containing Brizzard Parfait d'Amour I co-created with the former day bartender at Striped Bass.

Orange Creamsicle

1.5 oz. Absolut Vanilia
1.5 oz. Brizzard Parfait D’Amour
Half and Half

Shake and serve on the rocks with an orange twist

Philly Water Ice

2 oz. Absolut Citron
1.5 oz. Brizzard Parfait D’Amour
Splash sour mix
Splash Sprite

Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

These are both quite tasty.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#25 Snowy is dead

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 08:23 AM

Admin: Threads merged.


I was just doing some online looking and wikipedia (of all places) has this company listed as a source for the defunct creme yvette.

http://drink-related...2689181861.html

not sure if you can get it, however. The site does seem to be fairly recent, although the wikipedia entry did mention that it was hard to find, even in le France.

Has anyone tried this stuff? Is parfait armour a good sub, or is it unique?

Sean

edit to add these links for other brands

http://www.granitble... violette 50 cl

http://www.testadaz.com/mic/00133.html

http://www.pricemini...-De-Fruits.html

#26 Snowy is dead

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 08:27 AM

I just realized I didn't translate them into english. I did a google search and got most of them from the first two pages, some had translation options.

#27 Kerry Beal

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 03:42 PM

I've got a bottle of the cream violette I had friends bring back from France. They had to go to a number of places to find it.

Here is a couple of websites I contacted when I was trying to obtain some.

http://www.regals.fr/

http://www.sallyclarke.com

#28 gethin

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 06:06 AM

Benoit Serres creme de violette is not hard to find in South West France at least, in Toulouse everywhere from cakeshops to newsagents seem to sell it (along with crystallised violets and violet lozenges).

Most of the French distillers who produce fruit based liqueurs make a creme de violette or liqueur de violette. I think the Miclo version is possibly the best- very violetty, though far paler in colour than the Benoit Serres. Briottet, Giffard, Lejay-Lagoute and Les vergers de Ma Pere are other producers who make a violet liqueur.

The BS one may well be a closer match for Creme d'Yvette as it has a noticeable vanilla taste as well as the violet and it's certainly better colour wise for Blue Moons etc . (Miclo have the prettier bottle though !)

I don't think Parfait Amour would be a particularly good substitute , on the whole they tend to be slightly citrussy, slightly flowery but not particularly violet flavoured (although Lejay-Lagoute do seem to market their creme de violette as Parfait d'Amour, I think they include both names on the bottle).

Don't know of any of these are available in the US though.


Gethin

Edited by gethin, 07 June 2006 - 06:07 AM.


#29 jpr54_

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 01:10 PM

the monin syrup is not great-
too sweet and not enough violet essence-

#30 eje

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Posted 07 June 2006 - 03:46 PM

Do health food or herbal type places carry dried violet flowers or petals?

Guess I wouldn't be averse to trying to make a small batch.

Probably be cheaper than shipping from France or England.
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
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