A liqueur made from violet flowers and sweetener, paired with a neutral or brandy base spirit, Crème de Violette is indispensible to make a proper Aviation, among other classic cocktails.
Why is it called Crème?
In contrast “Cream” liqueurs do contain dairy products (ex. Baileys Irish Cream).
As you can likely tell from it’s appearance, Crème DE VIOLETTE contains no cream, but then again it’s not called “Cream” de Violette. So what the heck is a Crème? The name comes from the addition of sugar, which gives the liqueur a “cream-like” texture.
There are other types of crèmes, which are thus named for the addition of sugar to the predominant flavor (ex. Crème de Menthe).
The nose is predominately violet with a hint of sugar. The taste has more intense violet flavor and is a little sweeter than the nose. The finish is similar, a consistent sweetened violet taste throughout.
Rothman and Winter Crème de Violette is 40 proof (20%ABV).
A few CrÈme de Violette Cocktails:
Crème de Violette has been around for a long time, at least since the 1800s, although I haven’t been able to find much more about when it was first produced. While not a universally popular ingredient, its most famous use is in the classic Aviation cocktail, first published by Hugo Ensslin in 1916.
Throughout the 20th century, Crème de Violette became more and more difficult to find, and eventually was unavailable in the US. In 2007, Haus Alpenz, reintroduced America to this liqueur by importing Rothman and Winter Crème de Violette to the states.
Rothman and Winter Crème de Violette is produced from Queen Charlotte and March Violets, which are then paired with Weinbrand (German for brandy – a spirit distilled from grapes). Expect to pay $25-35 a bottle for this one.
Grabbing a bottle of Crème de Violette is well worth it, especially if you are at all a fan of the classic Aviation cocktail.