Friday, November 27, 2009

The Aviatrix, Creme de Violette!

Palerme by Baccarat

I saw the drink “The Aviation” in a Michael Ruhlman blog awhile back.
Although I don’t countenance gin (my mother let me sip a martini when I was 7 and scarred me for life, blek--gin!), I was captivated by Crème de Violette.

Does it get any more romance-novel-L’heure-Bleue than Crème de Violette (ok, there’s that crazy teen box-office smash Twilight, but this is for grown-up girls)? IT IS REALLY VIOLET, Art Nouveau violet.
Made from the distilled essence of violets:
The provenance of the cocktail is fabulous. It was created by Hugo Ensslin at the Hotel Wallick in NYC, Ensslin published a recipe in 1916 in his book, Recipes for Mixed Drinks

1/3 Volume Lemon Juice
2/3 Volume El Bart Gin
2 dashes Maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Crème de Violette
Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve.

Ruhlman’s version was a little less tart:
2 oz. gin 

1/2 oz. lemon juice

1/2 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liquer 

1/4 oz. Crème de Violette

As I mentioned, I don’t like gin, so, I created a new, very homage-to-Amelia-Earhart drink:

1 T Crème de Violette
1/2 Cup Champagne or Prosecco (good quality please, no $5 bottles for this)
Lemon twisted over the glass
splash maraschino (optional)
splash of gin (optional)
You can add a splash of the Maraschino liquor (I wrote about that HERE) but I found it too much. Some like the gin as an  edge for the sweetness... your call.You can squeeze lemon peel into the drink, or run it around the rim, or wrap it cunningly around a vintage sterling cocktail stick like this:
However you manage it, pull out a great champagne glass, light a fire or candles and let the light dance in the lavender bubbles. The result is magical. But beware, for all it's lavender allure it packs a wallop!


Pam said...

Where do I get this Creme de Violette? I love your version. I too despise gin! Pam

Deana Sidney said...

click on the link... they have it at astor liquor!

jgodsey said...

if you dont' like GIN, try Plymouth Gin, it doesn't have all that Juniper bite to it.

WineShark said...

Funny you should mention Twilight. As disagreeable as I find the vamp-franchise, the cocktail of the same name is quite good.

1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Creme de violette
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash simple syrup or agave syrup
1 oz prosecco
Combine all but prosecco, stir and strain into cocktail glass. Top with prosecco.

I found that if the bitters used are Stirring's Blood Orange (no vamp pun intended) that the drink gets this very cool steel/graphite color from the interplay of the violet and red. Try it out!

Deana Sidney said...

jgodsey:>I actually like juniper... I think it's because my mother let me try a martini as a kid and I flipped over the pretty water that tasted (to a child) awful! I should revisit as an adult..thanks for trying!
wineshark> After I posted this, someone told me about this drink..I love the idea of blood orange bitters... I am not a drink maven like yourself... more food and some wines... I really appreciate your input!

La Table De Nana said...

That is so beautiful..I would do the CDV and Prosecco..I can't drink hard liquor...

THis is just beautiful.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I've never seen this before Deana but I'm totally intrigued as I love edible violet and violet flavour! It's huge in France and I bought so many things that were flavoured violet :)

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Anonymous said...

The Creme de Violette plus champagne cocktail has been around for a while (see the Stork Club bar book, circa 1940s). It's called a Stratosphere - great name, eh?!

Anonymous said...

I just tried this with Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, Pages Violet Liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and Greenall's Gin. Mine just tasted like gin and "petroleum" according to my boyfriend. Weird, and not at all like the violet-flavored sweetart taste of the Aviatrix at restaurant Five Sixty in Dallas. I may have not gotten the mixture right, or is it the brand of gin? Or should I have splurged on Creme Yvette instead of Pages? Or is there another secret ingredient that would make it sweeter? I'm going to try tonight with pineapple juice instead of lemon.
If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Karina A. Fogliani-Ahmed said...

Love the vintage cocktail stirrer. Any idea where to get it, or somthing similar. Will try this cocktail for sure!

Karina A. Fogliani-Ahmed said...

I finally got to try the Aviatrix at home, after I especially ordered the Crème de Violette from Astor Wines in New York. I followed the original recipe, and used Cristiani Maraschino and Bombay Sapphire gin. It packs a VERY strong punch, but its delicate flavour and even more delicate cocktail make it one of my favorite cocktails.