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Dec 2, 2012 11:04 AM

Creme de Violette in Philly/Central Jersey?

Hi all. I'm hoping the collective wisdom can tell me if there's a liquor store in the Philly area or in central Jersey where I can get Creme de Violette. A friend of mine is obsessed with recreating an awesome cocktail from Marc Vetria's restaurant Alla Spina, but can't find the Creme de Violette and I thought this would make a great Xmas gift. Any ideas? Even a cursory glance online didn't yield much, including e-tailers..



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  1. If a PA restaurant is serving it, it is available through the state store system, thought it may require a special order -- which is not hard to do though I think you have to pick it up from a store.

    You can use this link to see if a local store has it in stock -- I see in 4 in Phila proper so this shouldn't be too hard to find in a store convenient for you.

    Otherwise, you can order it here:

    EDIT: Also, the Parfait Amour label is available if you click the "Available Special Order" tab at the top of the first link.

    1 Reply
    1. re: barryg

      Did a quick search using Barry's link and it appears to be available on Columbus Blvd, 1111 Locust, 19th and Chestnut and the Premium store at Franklin Mills.

    2. In the state of Pennsylvania where the selection is governed by the state rather than the market, you are going to have a challenge in finding it. It will be only available at the Premium collection stores. The good news is that doing a search on the PLCB website there are two in fact available. Rothman and Winters Creme de Violette (with the encouraging caution, limited availability) and Parfait Amour Creme de Violette. is the product catalogue search page. I used the keyword violette. I would either email the plcb at the adress found on this page or perhaps even contact Alla SPina and ask which State store they pick up their liquor.

      In NJ or DE you may have better luck. A quick search of the Total Wine website showed they had two brands with a price ranging from 17.99 to 29.99 a bottle.

      6 Replies
      1. re: cwdonald

        See my post... you can check store inventory online and do special order right from there. Several stores carry it. This is actually one advantage of the state store system... statewide inventory and ordering available with just a few clicks. is easier to use than the old PLCB site.

        Personally I do not think that liquor consumers suffer much due to PLCB. The system is particularly good for more rural consumers who can order niche liquors like Creme de Violette that would otherwise be impossible for them to get in other states. Restaurants however do suffer, because there are no wholesale discounts, and wine is another story altogether.

        1. re: barryg

          I think liquor consumers suffer greatly .. due to lack of availability of lots of specialty liquors. And while the website is reasonably convenient, the customer service offered even at the premium stores leaves lots to be desired, especially when placing special orders... but that is beyond scope. The net net is the OP can find the liquor in the state of PA or across the river or down in DE and should be able to make the aviator or whatever the cocktail they are trying to recreate.

          1. re: barryg

            So if I search on the website and don't get any hits, even for special order, does that mean I'm SOL in PA? Am looking for Ron Pampero Aniversario rum (link below) and rompope (any brand).


            1. re: msiangal

              I guess so... probably still worth calling them to make sure.

          2. re: cwdonald

            "the selection is governed by the state rather than the market"

            'Cos there's a huge market for Creme de Violette.

            1. re: FrankJBN

              We never know what the actual market would be because the supply is determined by the regulators in Harrisburg rather than by individual entrepreneurs running their own businesses. The biggest issue of course are products that are not available at all in the state, just because its not sold here does not mean there is not a market for it. Given the small distribution of the product I would submit it is reasaonable to conclude that the market is underserved, or artificially held back. Sure you are correct its a specialty product. Maybe they sell 100 bottles a year. But who is to say that the real demand isnt 200 400 or 1000 since it is not normally stocked, and since the stores inventory is controlled from Harrisburg rather than by an entrepreneur trying to maximize revenue.

          3. Thank you all so much! i just ordered a bottle from the PCLB, to be delivered to my local store. Thank you!

            1. I know this may be a very stupid question but is there any reason that we cannot order liquor online and have it shipped to Pa? I want a bottle of Belle de Brillet. In order to buy it from the state store I would have to order 6 bottles at $56. It is available online for $59.95 with shipping from another state. Am I allowed to buy i this way? I certainly don't want to spent $336 and wouldn't trust myself with six bottles of the stuff!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kater

                It is against the law to have liquor shipped to PA. It must go through the state stores.

              2. Would you mind posting the cocktail info? One bottle of CdV is enough for a lifetime of aviations.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Boognish

                  Here is supposedly the original aviations recipe.


                  The interesting note is not about the creme de violette but the quality of the drink will be most effected by the maraschino that is added to the drink. The link speaks to house made maraschino as a way of making the drink better as opposed to the neon red syrup you can buy at the supermarket.

                  1. re: cwdonald

                    Maybe I'm misreading your comment, but the maraschino liqueur is different from maraschino cherry syrup.

                    1. re: lowereastrittenhouse

                      Point well taken. the recipe calls for maraschino liqueur but the author also spoke about using home made maraschino cherries as an addition to the drink.

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        A rainy-day project I've yet to get around to!