Friday, 20 April 2012

Purple Haze

As a little birthday-present-to-self I acquired a bottle of this esoteric fluid, which has intrigued me for some time:

I love the scent of violets, and this stuff doesn't disappoint.  It's redolent of them, sweet and heady.  It's like a liquid version of parma violet candies, one of those old-fashioned sweets that I have a soft spot for.

The liqueur has even been used as a plot device in an episode of The Avengers.  Crème de violette is presented as an obscure drink which is difficult to come by and for which the criminal mastermind (naturally) has an affected penchant.  At least I'm in admirable company...  (I snorked at a line at a men's fashion show where the announcer declares a suit "champagne-resistant" - in fact the whole scene is hysterical)

While the stuff is tasty in its own right, it does best in a subtle underscoring role in mixed drinks.  The most famous cocktail made from crème de violette is the Aviation.  An interesting history of the drink and how it fell into obscurity as the liqueur vanished can be found here.

The recipe I used for this resurrected liquid confection is:

2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
1/4 ounce crème de violette liqueur

Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Strain into a martini glass and add a maraschino cherry.


 Other recipes I look forward to trying...

Violette Royale:
4 ounces champagne
1/2 ounce crème de violette

1½ ounces vodka
¾ ounce crème de violette
¼ ounce vanilla liqueur
1 teaspoon absinthe or pastis

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