We are continuing on our mission to give some love to underappreciated cocktail ingredients in this column. This week, a little-known liqueur that offers a taste of spring: Crème de Violette.
With a gentle floral character and a vivid purple hue, it's a great mixer, brilliant in the famous Aviation and lovely even in simpler drinks like the three below. For our cocktails, we chose Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette from Austria, made with violets and cane sugar. Pick up a bottle and let the violet liqueur lure you into a floral mood—even if there aren't flowers in your yard yet.
Easy: Violette Royale
Combining Crème de Violette with Champagne allows you to appreciate all the liqueur’s vanilla-floral notes without them becoming overwhelming. Consider this a major mimosa upgrade for your next brunch.
Instructions: Pour 3/4 ounce Crème de Violette into a Champagne flute, then fill to the top with sparkling wine (about 5 ounces). Garnish with a lemon twist.
Intermediate: Blue Moon
As a rule, you should be suspicious of blue cocktails. But the Blue Moon is a classic, bringing together floral Crème de Violette, herbal gin and bright, fresh lemon.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 ounces gin, 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice and 3/4 ounce Crème de Violette. Shake that all up and strain into a cocktail coupe. Garnish with a brandied cherry.
Advanced: Scotch Violets
We often pair Crème de Violette with light spirits like gin and vodka or non-spirits like Champagne. But we're pretty proud of this bright, refreshing Scotch cocktail. Cutty Sark Prohibition is 100 proof, which helps balance out the liqueur's sweetness, and has fun, chocolatey notes in it.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 ounces Scotch (we're using Cutty Sark Prohibition), 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3/4 ounce Crème de Violette and 1/4 ounce honey syrup (equal parts honey and hot water, stirred until honey dissolves). Shake that all up and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel.