Friday, March 26, 2010

What We're Drinking: Crème Yvette in Cocktails

Crème Yvette is a French liqueur produced from violet petals, berries,vanilla, and spices. This liqueur appears in most vintage cocktail books, such as David Embury's The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks (republished by Mud Puddle Books) and is an essential modifier in such classic cocktails like the Aviation. Sadly, Crème Yvette has been out of circulation since 1969.

Well now it is back thanks to the folks behind St. Germain elderflower liqueur,  Cooper Spirits International.  According to Imbibe Magazine, Mr. Rob Cooper, who runs Cooper Spirits, happens to have the good fortune of inheriting the family business - Charles Jacquin et Cie of Philadelphia. This company has owned the original recipe for decades; now producing and importing the much sought after liqueur from France.  This is quite a coup. Frankly, I am curious to see what other liqueur ancienne Mr. Cooper will be resurrecting next!

Those who are familiar with Crème de Violette, another violet liqueur that is produced by the Austrian company Rothman & Winter, will notice a significant difference in taste and color. First of all, Yvette tastes of honey and vanilla notes, and has a strong berry flavor. Secondly, the color of Crème Yvette is similar to sloe gin, a dark ruby hue. This adds a pink color to the cocktails of which it is an ingredient. In my view, the flavor profile and visual appeal is an upgrade from Crème de Violette which can be too floral and gives many cocktails a grey color rather than the desired purple.

For your consideration: A list of de-lovely vintage cocktails that use CrèmeYvette, enjoy the time warp! We suggest Plymouth Gin for all of these drinks.
2 oz Gin
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
2 tsp of Maraschino liqueur

Combine ingredients in shaker and fill with ice. Shake rigourosly until welll chilled,  strain into a cocktail glass. Float the Crème Yvette and garnish with a lemon peel.

Blue Moon
2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Crème Yvette
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Eagle's Dream (pictured)
1 1/2 oz of Gin
1/2 oz Crème Yvette
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 Tsp of Powdered sugar
1 egg white

One of our favorite nightcaps, this gem first appeared in the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930). Combine in shaker. Dry shake ingredients to emulsify the egg white. Add  ice and shake well  until frosty. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Fizz a la Violette
2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Crème Yvette
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz heavy cream
1/2 an egg white
1 tsp simple syrup

Dry shake the ingredients to emulsify the egg white, then add ice and shake it hard for 20 seconds. Strain into a collins glass and top off with club soda or seltzer.

Stratosphere (aka The Violette Royale)
3/4 oz Crème Yvette
4 oz of Champagne

Pour the Crème Yvette into a glass flute and top off with Champagne.

Where to get Crème Yvette?

Astor Wine & Spirits
399 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 674-7500

We suggest getting on the waiting list, this product is flying off the shelves.

- Fredo

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