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Violet Liqueur

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While looking over some various online drink recipes, I came across an entry calling for "liqueur de violette." I've never heard of liqueur de violette, but I'm intrigued by the thought of it. It appears to be available in Europe, but I haven't found anywhere in the states that carries it.

Has anyone tried it? Any idea where I could get my hands on some?

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  1. I haven't tried the commercial kind but I made some violet liqueur myself this spring. It has a very nice floral taste and smell. Sort of like a more refined version of C.Howards violet candy.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JMF

      Fascinating. I noticed that Monin (the sugar syrup people) make a violet syrup and was wondering what it would be like. Would you put it in the same general category as rosewater, etc.?

      Randal, if you can't find liquer, perhaps you could make your drink with some violet syrup (especially if the recipe calls for sugar syrup anyway)? Monin makes it, and I specifically saw it at Surfas in Culver City (Los Angeles).

      1. re: JMF

        How did you make your violet liqueur? I've got a big bunch of violets and their leaves from the garden, and am planning to macerate them in vodka, then add simple syrup. close?

        1. re: akamai

          I stuffed a 1 liter jar with the blossoms them filled it with vodka. It took a lot of blossoms and I didn't end up with a lot, but it tasted great.

      2. You might also want to look for creme de violette, the same thing but with a more common name.

        I've heard of a related liqueur called Parfait Amour, a blend of orange, violets, and vanilla. The taste has been described by some as a delicate balance of grape jellybeans and marshmallows. I hope to find it some day.

        1. I was in france around Annecy and Megeve. I spent a night and day as a guest of some fine folks from Salomon in a hut on the monte blanc trail hut system. they flew a chef in from paris to cook a simply sublime dinner for us. The evening began with magnums of french champagne topped with less than a splash of violette syrup. I prompty bought a bottle in a food and wine specialty shop in the old section of Annesy. "distillerie charles meunier successeurs" is what is on this label of "creme de violette" but there were other brands to choose from.
          This region of france routinely put this in sparkling wine and champagne. I have heared of recipes using in combination with cherry heering and orange juice. This is just the kind of vitage drink folks are looking for. If anyone locates it please call me right away. Since it is so very difficult to find in the states there may be a substantial shipping cost and if someone wants to order it together I would be game for that. let know and good luck

          1 Reply
          1. re: debdoes france

            I saw lots in Toulouse, which touts itself as the the violet city. Many commercial violet liqueurs are made there: http://www.frenchduck.com/2006/01/tou...

          2. Parfait Amour is availiable in the States from the Bordeaux producer Marie Brizzrad. About $20 for 750 ml. For more information do a search on this board for parfait amour.

            The monin stuff is way to sweet. Parfait is not a true creme de violette as the main flavor is orange. It is also very sweet. It is no longer made domestically and it can be very hard to find, even in France. My sense is that it is much easier to find in southern france. Some stores in London carry it, but even they have a hard time keeping it in stock. There is a brand that will ship? or is availiable in the US, Benoit Serres liqueur de violette. From what I understand it is the closest we can get. Not many people really know what it taste like, being defunct in the US since the 60's. Apparently the company that made it is still around, so perhaps with a few million emails they'll restart production.

            1 Reply
            1. re: garcon

              The hard part is finding someone who stocks Parfait Amour. Most places have never heard of it. I was recently THRILLED to see that BevMo carries it, and therefore you can order it online if you aren't in range of one of their retail stores.

            2. I actually came across Parfait Amour in Memphis a few weeks ago--and although it is primarily orange, it's definitely going in a cocktail or two.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Randal Cooper

                I was reading through a book of vintage cocktails recently and found what looks like a delicious one, the Jupiter Cocktail. It's 1-1/2 oz gin, 3/4 oz dry vermouth, 1 teaspoon of Parfait Amour, and 1 teaspoon of orange juice, shaken well and served straight up. There's a very careful balance at work here, so don't eyeball it. Get out the measuring spoons. If it comes out looking something like dishwater, you got it right.

                Turns out that Parfait Amour, with its demure purple color and dainty name translating to Perfect Love, is quite the bully in the cocktail world. Much like anisette liqueurs (Pernod especially comes to mind), Parfait Amour will completely take over a drink given half a chance. Use it sparingly.

                1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                  The jupiter cocktail is not very easy to master, kind of like a pegu club or aviation. Just never seems to come out quite right. Oxo makes very handy mini measuring cups. I have several at the bar.

                  1. re: garcon

                    I absolutely LOVE the mini Oxo cups, I don't make a drink without 'em!

              2. the best substitute for liqueur de violette is finding monin syrup and cutting it 50/50 with vodka. This will cut some of the sweetness and increase the liquor volume to something similar to a 20% real liqueur de violette. You should be able to find the syrup at places that sell coffee syrups.

                1 Reply
                1. re: fafner

                  You can buy it (and lots of other uncommon liquors) from www.absintheonline.com . The price is reasonable as well.

                2. Rothman & Winter Creme de Violette became available in the US in July. I know it's sold in New York and California, and probably several more states by now (plus online). You can find out more info on the brand at Haus Alpenz, http://www.alpenz.com

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pclarke

                    I've seen it two places in the Boston area (BRIX Wine Shop and Mall Discount Liquors near Fresh Pond in Cambridge).

                    So far, I've been using the Aviation recipe on the Alpenz site (http://www.alpenz.com/images/poftfoli...). It's definitely an improvement over my violette-less Aviations, it's a nice counter-balance to the maraschino, which tends to overpower a bit in most versions I've tried.

                    Now the real question, which I knew would arise after fiending after this stuff for months, what else do I do with it? Anybody seen any particularly great ideas for it?

                  2. rothman and winter creme de violette is available in the u.s. now. it's imported by haus alpenz.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: warrenr

                      Just found some myself, it adds a brilliant color to a cocktail. Not to mention pretty tasty, if a bit sweet. My recommendation is go easy on it. I tried out an Aviation cocktail, fantastic.

                    2. I brought some back from Paris but if you google ' violette petites douceurs' you will find it and order some from a big store in the US. The rose liqueur is nice too.