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Creme de Violette

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My good friend Sandy, who seems lately to be very interested in cocktails but doesn't actually make them, dropped by at lunchtime yesterday with a bottle of Rothman Creme de Violette. She came mainly to pick my husband's brain about how he makes labels. Her plan is to decant it into several lovely blue bottles and give it as gifts. We tasted it undiluted and then poured a little into water to see how strong the taste and color were. My husband thinks it smells like a French hospital. Sandy tasted mostly just sweet. I thought it was pretty complex, fragrant and slightly medicinal, but in an interesting way. I could tell right away that the Rothman does not produce an intense blue color, at least not in realistic quantities.

So, when we get our bottle with its lovely custom design label, what, besides an Aviation, should we make? We typically don't make cocktails beyond a classic martini, G & T, and once in a blue moon a Corpse Reviver or, once every four years of course, a Leap Year, so we don't keep a lot of mixing ingredients on hand. I prefer drinks that are relatively simple and don't require armloads of ingredients and I'm not one who likes to drink my candy bars. I would certainly have to make a special trip for maraschino of some kind, but then I could always decant some for Sandy. So...other ideas for using my Violette?

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So, when we get our bottle with its lovely custom design label, what, besides an Aviation, should we make? We typically don't make cocktails beyond a classic martini, G & T, and once in a blue moon a Corpse Reviver or...

So...other ideas for using my Violette?

Oddly enough you could make a Blue Moon cocktail using the Creme de Violette. Here is a recipe. :biggrin:

Also, Jamie Boudreau came up with a fizz that includes Creme de Violette. Its at the bottom of this post.

Cheers.

Morgan

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Thanks, Morgan. That's a good concise history of yvette and violette. And I love the caveat that follows the recipe for the fizz w/Violette, warning that if you make the drink with soy milk instead of heavy cream it will taste different.

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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.

Grabbed a bottle of R&W CdV yesterday and I'm wondering about this drink. Is it truly an equal parts drink? That seems damned sweet.

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It's not dry. But not too sweet either.

The R&W is pretty dry. Think of it as a Silver Corpse Reviver #2 subbing the R&W CdV for the Lillet Blanc. The CdV is only marginally sweeter than Lillet Blanc.

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It is pretty unsweet, though not dry -- and it's a lot less floral than I'd expected. I added 1 tsp of St. Germain to a 3/4 oz equal parts Silver Lily, and that perked it up quite a bit.

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The Alpenz website posted the recipe for the Water Lilly (Silver sans egg white) and it was

2oz Dry Gin

1/2 oz CdV

1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 oz Cointreau

I had then tried variations with the St Germain Elderflower and Violette and it came across a little too acidic, though quite nice after dialing back the lemon juice. Reminds me I'd wanted to retry this with some of the newer gins on the market.

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This Silver Lily variation allows the Creme de Violette a little more support. It contains some lavender syrup from the Absinthe book, The Art of the Bar, which I've been playing around with here.

2 oz gin (Tanqueray or even Aviation works here)

1/2 oz Maraschino

1/2 oz R&W Creme de Violette

1/2 oz lemon

1/2 oz lavender honey syrup

2 dashes orange bitters

egg white

The lavender and honey play nicely with the CdV, which pokes out slowly at the end.

Sam's right: the R&W CdV s neither dry nor sweet, but it has a flinty edge that sticks around on your tongue. Wrong balance and you lose it.

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I just saw the Villa de Varda violet grappa today at Du Vin Wine & Spirits. Unfortunately, my lousy camera phone photo does the incredible color no justice. I'm very, very tempted, but the $95 price tag talked me down.

gallery_24380_4394_35029.jpg

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Is it liquor or a lamp?

Well, this is a subject for another thread, but I just want to know why grappa always comes in such cool bottles.

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Is it liquor or a lamp?

Well, this is a subject for another thread, but I just want to know why grappa always comes in such cool bottles.

Two reasons:

1. (Relatively new) tradition.

2. They can charge more money for it.

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I've been happy with this Silver Lavender drink I've been making with the R&W lately:

1 1/2 oz gin (Plymouth)

1 oz Lillet

1/2 oz CdV (R&W)

1/4 oz lavender honey syrup

dash orange bitters (Angostura)

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Is Creme d'Yvette available yet? I've seen sample bottles in posts, but haven't seen it on any shelves. Anybody know what's up? Dying for a proper Blue Moon.

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Some good news on the violet front - the violet liqueur from Distillerie Pagès is coming to the US. I had a taste this afternoon, and it's really wonderful stuff. Much closer to the Hermes than the Rothman & Winter, but not quite as sweet.

I also tasted their Fraise Des Bois, which was a little sweet for my taste. They're also bringing the Maurin Quina Le Puy over, but I don't know about their Gentiane d'Auvergne, which would be nice to try since we can no longer get Suze in the US.

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The Pages Vedrenne product has been here for a while - it is labelled as a Creme de Violette in small type, and in large type as Partfait Amour. By taste I found it more of a Parfait Amour - similar to the forthcoming Yvette with vanilla notes and citrus (and as such not a traditional Violette). jmfangio is right that it is not as sweet as the Hermes.

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Saw the Robert Hess video on the Aviation and now my wife wants me to find some Violette. Any updates as to the general availability?

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Saw the Robert Hess video on the Aviation and now my wife wants me to find some Violette. Any updates as to the general availability?

I have since discovered that I can order it through the PA LCB as a special order. So I have done so and should get it soon an my wife will be happy. I just never thought for a moment I could get it from them. Should have checked first before I posted

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Picked up my Violette Monday night. Right out of the bottle I tasted mostly sweet. I made an aviation using Robert Hess recipe. To tell you the truth, I was sort of underwhelmed. It is clearly a different drink. I not yet sure it is a better drink. Will have to play with this stuff some more to see what it works with and in what ration to use it.

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I've been underwhelmed by everything I've made with the R&W product, but I have yet to find an alternative here in MA (excepting Brizard's Parfait Amour, which makes for interesting variations but isn't really a true substitute). Is the Yvette available in the US yet?

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First off, the shelf life on naturally flavored, undistilled liqueurs is not fantastic.

A lot of folks have commented on how St. Germain "evolves" in the bottle, but I believe the R&W violette is probably prone to similar changes.

If you can, buy 375ml bottles. I actually wish Haus Alpenz sold it in bitters size dasher bottles.

Second, creme de violette is a finicky ingredient, and I think any recipe that calls for more than 1/4 oz is the result of over enthusiasm for the product. Personally, depending on the drink size, I think a bar spoon (teaspoon) is plenty for an Aviation.

Sure Creme Yvette is probably easier to mix with, as is the Hermes Violette. But neither are really Creme de Violette and the original recipe for the aviation called for "2 Dashes of Creme de Violette" not "2 Dashes of Creme Yvette".


Edited by eje (log)

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First off, the shelf life on naturally flavored, undistilled liqueurs is not fantastic.

A lot of folks have commented on how St. Germain "evolves" in the bottle, but I believe the R&W violette is probably prone to similar changes.

If you can, buy 375ml bottles. I actually wish Haus Alpenz sold it in bitters size dasher bottles.

Second, creme de violette is a finicky ingredient, and I think any recipe that calls for more than 1/4 oz is the result of over enthusiasm for the product. Personally, depending on the drink size, I think a bar spoon (teaspoon) is plenty for an Aviation.

Sure Creme Yvette is probably easier to mix with, as is the Hermes Violette. But neither are really Creme de Violette and the original recipe for the aviation called for "2 Dashes of Creme de Violette" not "2 Dashes of Creme Yvette".

i started treating the R&W bottling as just a concentrate. i changed the sugar content to something i thought more intuitive so i could make 1:1 acid/liqueur sours with it and i added extra contrasts because as it stands its pretty one dimensional. a small amount of single varietal honey like strawberry tree or rhododendron, a subliminal amount of anise... a killer blue moon.

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I may have access to edible violets next year. I know how to make a good liqueur from flowers (use only the petals no stamens or stems, use Everclear) since I have been making several types for over a decade. What I am curious about is the 'creme' component.

I know that, in modern labeling, the term is meaningless. I have tasted some of the cheap 'creme' liqueur concoctions that are artificially flavored, so I have an idea of what it's supposed to taste like. Does the 'creme' component pre-date modern industrial flavor technology? If so, how do I get that flavor into my liqueur naturally?

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