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Creme de Violette

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It's not a process.

The designation "crème" simply means that it contains enough sugar as to have a syrup-like consistency. So "crème" refers to the liqueur having the texture of cream.

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[C]reme 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.

I think Erik's right. My proportions have been shrinking each time I made any cocktails with it.

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It will be interesting to see, as more brands hit the US market, whether creme de violette in general is a finicky product or whether the finickiness is specific to the R&W bottling. But with the latter, I agree that less is better.

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I think when Haus Alpenz was initially designing the product they got a lot of feedback from drink makers that they wanted a less sweet violet liqueur with a more natural tasting violet flavor.

Ironically, now that Alpenz has given them that single noted violet liqueur, a lot of them have decided they would prefer something closer to a Creme Yvette.

There is a spectrum of violet liqueur flavors depending on how natural the flavors are, how intense the violet flavor is, the level of sweetness, and if there are adjunct flavorings used. Of the ones I've tried, the Benoit Serres and Rothman and Winter are the most intensely violet, while the Yvette and Hermes are on the other end of the spectrum with citrus and vanilla notes. I've seen Miclo, but can't justify another bottle of violet liqueur. I would like to pick up the Pages Parfait Amour and Creme Yvette (if it ever reaches the shelves).

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I would like to pick up the Pages Parfait Amour and Creme Yvette (if it ever reaches the shelves).

K&L Wine in Hollywood has the Pages Parfait Amour in stock (it's not listed on their website, but I was just there yesterday and there were several bottles on the shelf). Have you checked with their San Francisco branch?

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It's not a process.

The designation "crème" simply means that it contains enough sugar as to have a syrup-like consistency. So "crème" refers to the liqueur having the texture of cream.

Thank you!

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Actually found a few bottles of the Pages Parfait Amour at BevMo on the way home. Interestingly, as friend of the farmer notes above, it does also call itself "Creme de Violette" in small letters on the label. It will be interesting to compare to the violettes I have around. Wish I had a Brizard Parfait Amour to compare it to, but that seems to have disappeared from the liquor stores around here.

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Actually found a few bottles of the Pages Parfait Amour at BevMo on the way home. Interestingly, as friend of the farmer notes above, it does also call itself "Creme de Violette" in small letters on the label. It will be interesting to compare to the violettes I have around. Wish I had a Brizard Parfait Amour to compare it to, but that seems to have disappeared from the liquor stores around here.

isn't the brizard just a vanilla-citrus-violet...?

vanilla is not my favorite violet contrast. for me in general vanilla is just as bad as too much anise. are any of the bottlings drastically different in chosen contrast?

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Actually found a few bottles of the Pages Parfait Amour at BevMo on the way home. Interestingly, as friend of the farmer notes above, it does also call itself "Creme de Violette" in small letters on the label. It will be interesting to compare to the violettes I have around. Wish I had a Brizard Parfait Amour to compare it to, but that seems to have disappeared from the liquor stores around here.

isn't the brizard just a vanilla-citrus-violet...?

vanilla is not my favorite violet contrast. for me in general vanilla is just as bad as too much anise. are any of the bottlings drastically different in chosen contrast?

Yeah, and I'd say pretty much in that order too. Tastes kind of like a lightly floral marshmallow, really. Which is okay if you mix accordingly, but still, not exactly a go-to in my liquor cabinet.

Christopher

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[C]reme 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.

Taught a course on gin last night and several in the class chose to make Aviations (2 oz Damrak gin, 1/2 oz lemon, 1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino). People added a range of amounts of R&W CdV, and by general consensus about 3/4 teaspoon was the right amount. Less than that makes it all silvery and nice, but you don't get enough of the liqueur to change the balance in the drink.

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Since this is bumped, I thought I'd take the opportunity to ask what the status of the Creme Yvette revival is. Last I'd heard it was supposed to be out this year, though they'd better hurry if they want to make that happen. Anyone know the story?

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[C]reme 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.

Taught a course on gin last night and several in the class chose to make Aviations (2 oz Damrak gin, 1/2 oz lemon, 1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino). People added a range of amounts of R&W CdV, and by general consensus about 3/4 teaspoon was the right amount. Less than that makes it all silvery and nice, but you don't get enough of the liqueur to change the balance in the drink.

My problem is, with that amount of Maraschino, I would never taste that amount of CdV. For me, the Maraschino just seems to stomp all over the CdV and I need to use just a dash of Maraschino and perhaps a tsp or so* of the CdV. My only experience is with R&W; maybe other brands are more assertive, I don't know.

*"or so" as in nearly a scant 1/4 oz, without getting too enthusiastic, mind you

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FWIW, if I'm making Aviations Ensslin-style, these days I go with 2 teaspoons Luxardo and 1 teaspoon R&W creme de violette (the newer, reformulated version, not the initial release, which is less deeply blue) to 1/2 oz lemon and 2 oz Plymouth. Color comes out right, not too sweet, not too tart (for me, anyway) and no one ingredient eiher dominates or gets lost.

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David, when was the R&W reformulated? I'm trying to figure out whether my (definitely not new, but definitely decidedly purple) bottle is old school or new school.

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According to the importer there have been some subtle changes based on feedback, with the last set in effect from bottles dated January (or Frebruary?) 2009 forward. Most notably the product is more pliable now - I can step up to 1/4oz or slightly more if using a more flavor intensive gin than Plymouth (and we rotate Beefeater and Brokers). I'm still waiting on getting pretty flowers put on the label.

On a separate note - thank you to whomever is making the Maraska Maraschino more available - nice to have a good option aside from our friend Luxardo.

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Saw an email today from Hi-Time Wines that Creme Yvette is now available, which is very cool though I was a bit dismayed by the price ($44). I know some don't consider it in the same category as regular Creme de Violette, but I was curious if anybody had tried it and had opinions. I love the Rothman & Winter, and it's a bit difficult to wrap my mind around the idea that the Yvette could be twice as good (why are so many of the new products on the market so expensive? geez).

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Saw an email today from Hi-Time Wines that Creme Yvette is now available, which is very cool though I was a bit dismayed by the price ($44). I know some don't consider it in the same category as regular Creme de Violette, but I was curious if anybody had tried it and had opinions. I love the Rothman & Winter, and it's a bit difficult to wrap my mind around the idea that the Yvette could be twice as good (why are so many of the new products on the market so expensive? geez).

I just got a small sample and have yet to play around with it that much. First impressions - definitely more intense than the R&W, but not quite as sweet as the Hermes violet. Very nice in an Aviation, but now I want to try it in the famously finicky Atty, which I've only been able to get right with the Hermes. It's a bit early for me to render a final verdict, but if it works in the Atty as well as the Hermes, I'd say it's worth the price difference.

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Saw an email today from Hi-Time Wines that Creme Yvette is now available, which is very cool though I was a bit dismayed by the price ($44). I know some don't consider it in the same category as regular Creme de Violette, but I was curious if anybody had tried it and had opinions. I love the Rothman & Winter, and it's a bit difficult to wrap my mind around the idea that the Yvette could be twice as good (why are so many of the new products on the market so expensive? geez).

I just got a small sample and have yet to play around with it that much. First impressions - definitely more intense than the R&W, but not quite as sweet as the Hermes violet. Very nice in an Aviation, but now I want to try it in the famously finicky Atty, which I've only been able to get right with the Hermes. It's a bit early for me to render a final verdict, but if it works in the Atty as well as the Hermes, I'd say it's worth the price difference.

The ATTY is one of my favorites; with the weird stuff I ordered from France back in 06, I made it literally as written, 3 dashes from an empty Peychauds bottle to the same of Jade Edouard and the other ingredients totalling 2 oz. With the R&W I like to do 2 oz Plymouth, 3/4 oz Dolin Dry, bsp Violette, 3 dashes Lucid (what we have at work) and I think its fab. I'm pretty sure that drink has its own thread but I've never really understood the difficulty with it.

While I'm on the subject, does anyone know if that drink has an earlier citation than the Savoy?

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A few cocktails that I made recently with crème de violette (the first two from other threads).

The Water Lilly from PDT: equal parts gin, violette, Cointreau, lemon juice; orange twist.

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The Aviation... of course

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And the Deep Blue Sea (Michael Madrusan) that I just tried last night: gin, Lillet, crème de violette.

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Maybe it's the name but I thought it tasted almost salty... the combination of Lillet and crème de violette is quite intriguing.

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A few cocktails that I made recently with crème de violette (the first two from other threads).

The Water Lilly from PDT: equal parts gin, violette, Cointreau, lemon juice; orange twist.

I had a variation on this today - Gary Regan's Moonlight, same ingredients, (sans twist), but in a 3:1:1:1 ratio. Very nice drink!

(also had a couple Aviations testing out different gins...Beefeater definitely works better than Sapphire)

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You have got me wanting to try this Violet Liqueur! I have never heard of it. But I recently had a "French Pear" with Grey Goose La Poire, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, Gruet Brut, & a lemon twist; served up. at the Hotel D'Anza in California. This also whetted my appetite for flower libations! If you are ever in San Jose, Ca. This hotel had the best jazz and sublime cocktails in a beautiful setting, we go here every time we visit San Jose!

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I just bought a bottle of Creme de Violette, opened it and THEN read the label - it's "full" of artificial coloring! And it's on its way back to the store....

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I just bought a bottle of Creme de Violette, opened it and THEN read the label - it's "full" of artificial coloring! And it's on its way back to the store....

What Creme de Violette did you buy and how do you define "full" of?

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I don't think there is such a thing as crème de violette without artificial coloring. Simply steeping violets in alcohol isn't going to result in a persistent blue-purple color. Meanwhile, I'd be interested to know about any liquor store that would accept the return of an opened bottle of booze.

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Last night, I wanted something light and floral but complex at the same time, and settled for a twist on the Martini. Arsenic and Old Lace (found on the Bartender's Choice app) has gin, dry vermouth, a touch of violet liqueur and an absinthe rinse (I used my handy spray bottle). Orange twist.

It was not planned but I ended up having this drink with my meal, which was Pad Kee Mao (drunken noodles). The holy basil in the dish was actually a nice pairing with the violet & anise and the botanicals from the gin and dry vermouth.

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Violet and anise is a great combination. The cocktail has different ratios but is reminiscent of the Atty in the Savoy Cocktail book, which itself seems to have been inspired by the Attention in Hugo Ensslin's Recipes for Mixed Drinks.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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