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Creme de Violette

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Is anyone familiar with Garnier brand creme de violette? (The label actually says creme de violettes; it also says it's "imitation flavor," from Paris, 60 proof. Sorry, no camera right now.)

I just bought a miniature of it from ebay -- half of the bottle has evaporated, and the bottle looks at least a couple decades old (oh, the auction page is still up, if you want to see the bottle). It was only a couple bucks, so I figured this way I at least get to try one drink -- planning on a Blue Moon.

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Hi all,

I've been having a really hard time finding Benoit Serres in Paris. I have, however, found one bottle of Elie Arnaud Denoix - anyone know how that stacks up against the Benoit Serres?

thanks!

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Okay, for anyone interested in where to find the benoit serres in Paris, I called Benoit Serres and the only place they sell the liqueur de violette is Fauchon.

But, I'm still curious about the Elie Arnaud Denoix if anyone knows anything about it (quality? taste? etc?)

Thanks!

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do you know if they mail order internationally?

Gerrys still have the Monin liqueur de violette , but they don't do mail order (they don't even take credit cards!)

Robert Graham (of Edinburgh and Glasgow) also stock it and they are set up to ship stuff to North America. This is their website:

http://whisky-cigars.com/

Gethin


Edited by gethin (log)

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Is anyone familiar with Garnier brand creme de violette?  (The label actually says creme de violettes; it also says it's "imitation flavor," from Paris, 60 proof.  Sorry, no camera right now.)

[...]

Garnier was (is?) a rather well known french maker of spirits. Along the lines of Brizard. I seem to remember Charles Baker name checking them in the South American Gentleman's Companion and remarking on their quality compared to American liqueurs. Aside from an overall better than average quality, they were also known for packaging their liqueurs in unusual and collectible bottles.

Though, "imitation flavor" seems like a red flag to me.

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Is anyone familiar with Garnier brand creme de violette?  (The label actually says creme de violettes; it also says it's "imitation flavor," from Paris, 60 proof.  Sorry, no camera right now.)

[...]

Garnier was (is?) a rather well known french maker of spirits. Along the lines of Brizard. I seem to remember Charles Baker name checking them in the South American Gentleman's Companion and remarking on their quality compared to American liqueurs. Aside from an overall better than average quality, they were also known for packaging their liqueurs in unusual and collectible bottles.

Though, "imitation flavor" seems like a red flag to me.

The collectibility of the bottle is why this mini is still around, I think.

The "imitation" bit was a red flag to me, too, but it wasn't expensive since it's a mini, and I figured I'd give it a try. I'm going to make a Blue Moon with it tonight or tomorrow night ... I tried a touch of the Garnier straight and I don't taste a whole lot besides sweetness, but maybe it'll better make itself known in greater quantity.

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*Thread resurrection time*

Any thoughts on how to turn violet extract into something approximating the Hermes Violet? I'm thinking just a little alcohol (I'd probably use vodka) and sugar, but do you think one might need to add other ingredients? I've got a good chunk of violet extract (courtesy of fellow eGulleteer cdh and his garden) and I usually just add it directly to drinks that use violet liqueurs, but I'm wondering if turning extract into liqueur will produce superior cocktails, and if so how to do it.

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*Thread resurrection time*

Any thoughts on how to turn violet extract into something approximating the Hermes Violet? I'm thinking just a little alcohol (I'd probably use vodka) and sugar, but do you think one might need to add other ingredients? I've got a good chunk of violet extract (courtesy of fellow eGulleteer cdh and his garden) and I usually just add it directly to drinks that use violet liqueurs, but I'm wondering if turning extract into liqueur will produce superior cocktails, and if so how to do it.

i tried to order dried violette flowers....but they were back ordered. i should call again tomarrow....

and i don't think they are bitter at all so you could probably use infusion to make the recipe instead of distillation.... infusion would make it more aromatic.

then you find the proof of hermes etc....

and the exact sugar content....

and what acidity it has.... hibiscus flowers for example are very tart tasting.... whether it is perceived or real acidity i have no idea....

then you estimate the depth of the underlying character of the spirit.....

most qualitative judgement should come in comparing the degree of violette pungency.....everything else i think can be figured out precisely if you have a hermes to compare against.

old recipes like that of christian shultz are kinda worthless....but you can learn good technique of flavor extraction.

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i was reading that violette flowers smell great at first but then have a chemical that blocks future olfactory sensation in the short term....

a funky effect similar in scope to that of cynarin in artichokes.....

can anyone vouch for this???

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I just carried out a little experiment for a semi-homemade violet liqueur. I dissolved a large roll of Parma Violets in about 8 ounces of vodka. Tasted side by side against the Hermes Violet, it's not as smooth and well rounded, but used in an Atty or Aviation, it's hard to tell the difference. At least now I know that I have something to fall back on when my bottle of Hermes goes dry.

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Had a bit of a violet liqueur taste off with a few friends last night.

We had the Hermes, Benoit-Serres, and Rothman & Winter liqueurs.

Boy, they are different.

The Hermes is the sweetest and most candy-like of the bunch. Apropos of jmfangio's comment above, several folks unfamiliar with this topic remarked that it tasted like violet pastilles dissolved in liquor. The initial flavor I got was similar to marshmallows, then violets.

The Benoit-Serres the next sweetest. Stronger violet taste, with some tropical flavors in the middle taste sensations.

Finally, the Rothman & Winter was the least sweet. Earthy, intense, perfume-like, violet flavor with few additional elements.

edit - Oh, yeah, being the fuddy duddy that I am, I made classic style Aviations: 1 1/2 oz 209 Gin, 3/4 oz Lemon Juice, 2 dash R&W Violet, 1 dash Maraschino. Not bad and received generally favorable comments. I thought the 209 a little lacking in gin-i-ness compared to the Plymouth I usually mix Aviations with.


Edited by eje (log)

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edit - Oh, yeah, being the fuddy duddy that I am, I made classic style Aviations: 1 1/2 oz 209 Gin, 3/4 oz Lemon Juice, 2 dash R&W Violet, 1 dash Maraschino.  Not bad and received generally favorable comments.  I thought the 209 a little lacking in gin-i-ness compared to the Plymouth I usually mix Aviations with.

Did you get the "sky blue" tint?

I find that using even a sizable (2tsp) about of the R&W only gives the slightest hint of a color change. And even that is more cloudy sky than blue sky, unfortunately....

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Did you get the "sky blue" tint?

I find that using even a sizable (2tsp) about of the R&W only gives the slightest hint of a color change.  And even that is more cloudy sky than blue sky, unfortunately....

No, no sky blue tint.

You know, I've never been entirely convinced by the "aviations are called aviations because of the blue tint" story.

Unless creme de violette used to have a much larger portion of blue coloring, I just don't see how it would add much color to the drink. It's not like Blue Curacao.

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Wow - that sounds like a fun evening! Now I think you need to make several rounds of Attys, with different violet/absinthe combos. You know, for science.

Oh, I don't get the 'sky blue' tint in my Aviations, either, but I do detect a very faint violet hue in an Atty.

edit - I forgot to ask, how much is the Rothman & Williams, and is it available in California yet? Google gave me no love when I tried to find a place to buy it.


Edited by jmfangio (log)

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So what is the consensus on the Rothman & Winters product? I just purchased a (fairly pricey) bottle and thought the results were pretty favorable. Any other opinions on this product?

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So what is the consensus on the Rothman & Winters product?  I just purchased a (fairly pricey) bottle and thought the results were pretty favorable.  Any other opinions on this product?

i paid 23$ for a 750 of rothman's creme de violette. it's pretty good. i think the liqueur over all is over hyped. so many other things are more go to.... to much violette liqueur leaves a chemical association... i like rothman's brix ethic. it leaves lots of room for you to play with potency without over sweetening... though i am not sure the alcohol content is the best choice. i wonder what the decisions were based on and what exactly classic was?

hermes violette sounds to be more like "parfait amour" especially which additional flavors fighting for dominance.

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No, no sky blue tint.

You know, I've never been entirely convinced by the "aviations are called aviations because of the blue tint" story.

Yeah I've been experiencing the same thing....I wonder if there is more to the story. I was actually pretty disappointed when I didn't get the desired color change. I mean don't get me wrong I think the violette does add a nice complexity to the drink, and overall that's what really matters....but that "sky blue" story is pretty sexy....

Anyway, I have nothing to compare it to but I think the R&W product is solid.

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I've had no problem getting the sky blue tint with the Monin creme de violette (unfortunately not imported here), but the R & W doesn't produce it unless used in prohibitive quantities. That said, it's a more natural-tasting product, and less sweet. You pays your money....

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I suppose much depends how blue you want your sky! Most Aviations I've been served have just a light violet-blue tint. I've had a number of Aviations recently where the CdV was layered to good effect. The last two (now in San Francisco) have included a brandy-soaked maraschino and really captured that sky at sunset transition.

Moving on the color spectrum, PDT is currently doing a cocktail called the Silver Lilly that is near luminescent in its silvery blue. If I recall correctly, its made with equal parts Plymouth, CdV, lemon juice, cointreau and an egg white.

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Moving on the color spectrum, PDT is currently doing a cocktail called the Silver Lilly that is near luminescent in its silvery blue.  If I recall correctly, its made with equal parts Plymouth, CdV, lemon juice, cointreau and an egg white.

Yes yes, the silver lilly! Beautiful drink. Was there last weekend and my girlfriend ordered one....I had a few sips and stared at it longingly. The CdV was in the well. Amazing.

Edit: about the egg white in that drink....normally I see bartenders crack the egg and separate the white with the shell....that's what the bartender at PDT did for my pisco, but when it came to the silver lilly he put his hawthorne strainer upside-down on his shaker, cracked the whole egg and put it on the strainer so the yolk kinda sat there while the rest of the egg slid into the shaker. He let it sit there for a bit and then discarded the yolk. I assumed at the time it was just his way of getting the entire white into the drink....


Edited by Scotttos (log)

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Hawthorn strainer or julep strainer?

Hawthorn, upside down, springs facing up, egg yolk nestled in by the springs while the yolk drained into the shaker.

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Hawthorn strainer or julep strainer?

Hawthorn, upside down, springs facing up, egg yolk nestled in by the springs while the yolk drained into the shaker.

that is a really good idea... i've never seen that done before. sometimes i take the left over yolk as a shot like a boxer... i stand by the freshness of my eggs... = )

i had a cocktail with eggwhite at no. 9. where he took off the spring of the hawthorne and put in the shaker while he dry shook so it would act as a whisk and make it extra frothy... not sure if it was more frothy than usual but i'd be willing to perform some gin based controlled experiments to find out... =)

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[...]

i had a cocktail with eggwhite at no. 9. where he took off the spring of the hawthorne and put in the shaker while he dry shook so it would act as a whisk and make it extra frothy... not sure if it was more frothy than usual but i'd be willing to perform some gin based controlled experiments to find out... =)

I recently saw one of the bartenders at Alembic here in San Francisco do that when he dry shook a Pisco Sour. Hadn't seen it done before, either.

He did get a very impressive head of foam.

They also use those battery powered milk frother things for some egg white based foam drink toppings.

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[...]

i had a cocktail with eggwhite at no. 9. where he took off the spring of the hawthorne and put in the shaker while he dry shook so it would act as a whisk and make it extra frothy... not sure if it was more frothy than usual but i'd be willing to perform some gin based controlled experiments to find out... =)

I recently saw one of the bartenders at Alembic here in San Francisco do that when he dry shook a Pisco Sour. Hadn't seen it done before, either.

He did get a very impressive head of foam.

They also use those battery powered milk frother things for some egg white based foam drink toppings.

i've used the hand milk frother when i made leo engel's "knickebein" but now i use the malt mixer.

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