Daily Archives: April 24, 2009

Oh, you pretty thing

violetspicture21Creme de Violette

One day it’s 50 degrees and raining and 3 days later it’s 80 and sunny. What’s happening with spring this year?

But fear not – let me introduce springtime in a bottle – Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette.

Flowers to drink? Well, you’ve tried pine berries and walnuts, so what do you have to lose?

Violets are fairly common in the culinary world. When newly opened, flowers in the Viola family can be used in stuffings for poultry or fish or to decorate salads. Soufflés, creams, cakes, chocolates and other desserts can be flavored with them, too. Don’t forget about Choward’s violet mints. Another option is to sautée the young leaves and treat them like a leafy vegetable. But, why would you want a vegetable when you could have booze?

Again we travel to Austria, where Queen Charlotte and March violets are carefully macerated with grape brandy and cane sugar. The photo above may not do it justice, but this liqueur is electric purple! It smells like the perfume of a lady (one your mother would approve of).

Historically, this type of liqueur has been used in Champagne cocktails as well as the Aviation (gin, lemon and Maraschino) and the Blue Moon (gin and lemon), but this is what I suggest:

Violette Femme
*2 oz. gin (try Hayman’s Old Tom – round, deep flavor)
*1 oz. Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette
*1/2 oz. Yellow Chartreuse (milder and sweeter than the green)
*1/2 oz. lemon juice
*1/2 oz. agave nectar (fairly easy to find, try Whole Foods – a little more intense than simple syrup, so you need less)
*combine all ingredients and shake with ice, strain, serve up and garnish with candied violets (you can find them at Dean & DeLuca)

You can find the Crème de Violette here or enjoy the cocktail at brunch on Saturdays and Sundays here.

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Filed under Cocktails, Spirits