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Parfait Amour and Creme de Yvette - what do they taste like and where can I find them (in SF)?

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  • Bay Gelldawg Oct 11, 2003 09:08 PM

I would like to try Parfait Amour and Creme de Yvette, two liqueurs that are supposed to be made from violets.

Parfait Amour is made by Marie Brizard, also spelled as Marie Brizzard.

If anyone has tasted these liqueurs, can you tell me what they taste like, compared to Chambord or Grand Marnier?

Any tips on where they can be found would be appreciated.

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  1. Creme Yvette is a now mostly defunct violette liqeuer from france. Supposedly you may still find a bottle or two of recent production in small towns here and there in France, but it is no longer imported to the United States. The last I heard, most French stores cannot get it. Flavor profile is unclear, as most have never tried it. It is sometimes assumed that the cocktail the Aviation once had a measure of Creme Yvette, which would have given it an acutal blue color, making a tad more sense.

    Parfait Amour is widely availiable in the States. Flavor is that of violettes and orange. Like a flowery, sweeter cointreau. The color is violette, but it has an unpleasant tendency to turn most drinks it is added to a dish water grey. The flavor is quite strong, and I personally find it quite hard to mix with. Too much and that is all you taste, too little and you wind up with dirty bath water. Works well with margaritas and citrus/lemon, in my limited experience. About $20 U.S.

    As far as comparisons with chambord and grand marnier, there isn't really one. Chambord is more blackberry, currant, and cassis. Grand marnier is an oragne curacao with cognac. Parfait amour is about as sweet as chambord but less berry. Grand marnier has a bite to it due to the congnac. I would say cointreau is a closer match than grand ma.

    1. I know that Nizza la Bella in Albany has or at least had violet liqueur.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Yep, still have it. It is their signature drink and I always get it when I'm there. Of all places, 6 Degrees on Solano had it too. Both places do it right so the drink is a pretty purple and tastes lovely. Nizza is better though.

        1. re: rworange

          When I first tasted the Violet Hour at Nizza La Bella, I asked the bartender where I could find Parfait d'Amour - answer: Beverages & More. I now have a bottle at home, plus candied violets for garnish. Still need to stop swilling regular Hendrick's martinis long enough to concentrate on getting the right mix of gin, white vermouth & P d'A to make a Violet Hour. On its own, P d'A is tooth-achingly sweet...

          1. re: RodW

            You can also try Benoit serres Creme de Violette. I understand this is availiable in the states in some places. I've never seen it, but I hear it has less of the "toothachingly sweet" flavor that parfait d'amour has. It also lacks the orange component and has much more of a floral taste. Again, this is all heresay, but it comes from the highly informative egullet peeps in NY.

      2. Hey Chow-Folks: Note that Creme Yvette is being re-introduced to the public after going defunct in the 60's. Found the announcement on Page 58-60 of October 2009 Gourmet. BUT, after searching all over the web, I can't seem to find where you can buy it. Are there any drink detectives who can find this new "juice?" Please publish the info here, if you find out. I'd love to buy some. The article mentions Varnish "a proto-speakeasy hidden at the back of the century old sandwich shop Cole's in LA." AND, who is Rob Cooper who is mentioned in the Gourmet piece. Wonder who produces the liqueur? LOL U sleuths out there!

        3 Replies
        1. re: 4culiniarians

          I don't think the reissue is available yet, and I heard that when it does become available, it will first be available in NY only. It's produced by http://cooperspirits.com/, the same people who make St. Germain.

          http://voices.washingtonpost.com/all-...

          Might make sense to move (or re-address) this part of the thread to the Spirits board.

          If I'm wrong about it not yet being available, would love to hear about a mail-order source.

          1. re: 4culiniarians

            If and when it's available in California, they'll probably have it at Cask.

            -----
            Cask Spirits
            17 3rd St, San Francisco, CA

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Oh Robert - you mean I got to go to CA to get Creme Yvette??? Let us know when you find it is available.

          2. Original poster here, amazed that my question of six years ago is still generating responses! I had to laugh - I read this because I was brousing recent SF posts. I didn't realize the original question was mine - I didn't recognize it until I saw the signature.

            I never did find Yvette, but I found Parfait Amour and was disappointed that the main flavor is sweet orange, not violet. The comments about the color were certainly true. And once I had tasted it, I had no idea what to do with the rest of the big bottle. I finally gave it away when I moved.