Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >
Nov 24, 2013 11:49 AM

Creme de Violette / Maraschino liqueur

As part of my quest to master some of the classic gin cocktails, I'm turning my attention to the Aviation

I was surprised to find in my collection, a bottle of each (Giffard brand) of the above - part of a premature spending spree to create an instant home bar. The only thing is they were purchased approximately 7 years ago! Although they have never been opened.

Can they be used or do I pour them down the sink?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If they've never been opened, they will be pretty much identical to the day you bought them. Even if they had been opened, they would be perfectly fine, other than perhaps a little bit of sugar crystalization.

    3 Replies
    1. re: curseofleisure

      Thanks. How long do they keep after opening and are they best refrigerated?

      The reason for my doubt is the reference to longevity of liqueurs in relation to above or below 20% abv. My creme de violette is 25% but I've seen other violet liqueurs at 16%

      1. re: ASingh

        I'm not an expert on the subject. There are others on this board who know much more than I about shelf life and life after opening. All I can say is that I've had my bottle of Rothman & Winter for three or four years and it's perfectly fine. I believe it's 20% abv. My gut tells me that between the alcohol and sugar, they should keep for a very long time.

      2. re: curseofleisure

        I agree with this- the texture might be a bit off as well, but it should be safe to drink.

        Also, we don't refrigerate our violette or marschino and it's always been fine, however we go through it pretty quickly. The aviation (along with a corpse reviver #2) is my go-to drink when I want something quick and easy. I will also recommend the Water Lily as a great spin on an aviation, recipe can be found here:

        As far as aviations go, I will say that I usually add a dash more lemon than many recipes call for...otherwise, it can come out a bit too floral for me (especially depending on the gin.) I would recommend Plymouth for the aviation as it's not too strongly flavored, and go light on the violette until you know how that specific bottle sits. Incidentally, Tanquaray 10 makes the absolute best corpse reviver #2 outside of Bluecoat imho (husband disagrees.)

      3. Giffard liqueurs are really good. I just did a tasting on them the other day and ordered several to use in the high end cocktail bars I consult to and direct.

        1. Where to find/buy Suntory Violet....does anyone know?

          7 Replies
          1. re: binapaul

            It seems to only be available in Japan

            1. re: chefj

              What you linked to is the RTD cocktail, Violet Fizz. Not the Suntory Hermes Violet liqueur.

            2. re: binapaul

              It would be good to say your location.

              Hermes Violet liqueur made by Suntory isn't available in the US. It was never exported from Japan. Suntory discontinued some of the Hermes brand of liqueurs and bitters in 2009. I haven't heard of, or seen the Violet liqueur since I was last in Japan in 2004.

              But, get your hands on Tempus Fugit Liqueur De Violettes, I have heard it is as close to the Hermes as you can get. I haven't tried it yet, but have a bottle on order.

              1. re: JMF

                Thanks so much for your super-fast responses. I am in N.J.
                but if it is available in the U.K., I can ask someone to bring
                it for me.

                I didn't find it on Rakuten. Will try to get the Tempus from a
                store in CT.


                1. re: binapaul

                  I am pretty positive that it has never been exported from japan. I am slightly sure that it may not be made anymore.

                  pretty positive and slightly sure. So very definite.

                  The Tempus Fugit is available in NJ. Opici is the distributor. You can call them and ask what stores near you carry it.

                  Opici Family Distributing

                  25 DeBoer Drive
                  Glen Rock, NJ 07452
                  Tel: 201-689-1200

                  449 Oakshade Rd
                  Shamong, NJ 08088
                  Tel: 609-268-8012

                  Giffard Violette and Rothman & Winters Violette are both excellent as well.

                  1. re: JMF

                    Thanks so much for the info...I only saw an Opici
                    listing in CT didn't know there was one in NJ and
                    that too pretty close to me.

                    I wonder why Suntory didn't export or stopped making
                    such a find product which connoisseurs raves about?

                    So glad that i came to this forum. Thank you all!