Friday, July 24, 2009


Sure, both Jessica and I have written about some of the Aviations we have had. And each was different in their proportions (and are only the tip of the iceberg in recipe variations). However, both of these used Creme de Violette, and the one I am writing about used Creme Yvette -- one of the early proprietary brands of violet liqueur for this cocktail!

Creme Yvette was a proprietary version of Creme de Violette that was discontinued during the late 1960's. During a recent antique shopping trip at Todd Farm, we were able to pick up an empty bottle from the early 1900's; a full or partial bottle would have run several orders of magnitude more than the $5 we paid for the beautiful yet empty bottle. Creme Yvette was the original violet-flavored liqueur called for in an Aviation, and the less rounded flavor of Creme de Violette is often substituted and variants lacking it entirely exist (lacking a hint of the sky blue color that originally helped to garner the name). Word broke last year that Creme Yvette's recipe had resurfaced and some folk at Tales of the Cocktail last year got to try a sample. This year, the people who bring you St. Germain presented their newest (well soon to be released this fall) product with the official label and all!
Tasting Creme Yvette straight, it is more subtle and less sharp than the Rothman & Winter Creme de Violette currently on the market here in the U.S. today (one of about a half dozen or so in the world, although the others are not widely available in this country). Unlike the Rothman & Winter's product, Creme Yvette also has a fruity component to it that is reminiscent of cassis and other berry flavors. The Aviation with Creme Yvette seemed more rounded than I remember an Aviation with Creme de Violette tasting, but I wish I had the two versions side by side to compare properly.

As for a drink recipe, see the two links up above and substitute Creme Yvette for Creme de Violete. The recipe the bartender gave me was all jumbled up and seems rather wrong and nothing like what I tasted (he was trying to recollect what containers he used to measure and how many to make the batched cocktail the best he could). If you re-arrange the ingredients and measurements in my notes, it was probably somewhat close to the 1916 recipe I posted before. If you want a laugh, you can request that I post what I have in my notes...

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