Delicately floral, exotically sweet... the Fisselier Liqueur de Violette featured in February's Gin of the Month box is amazing for creating all kinds of stunning gin cocktails. From the classic Aviation to one GINcredible Blue Moon (check out the recipe below), there's no turning back from this perfectly purple liqueur!
The production of liqueur de violette, also known as crème de violette, dates back to the 19th century. This intoxicating, lovely liqueur is made by combining the flavour and colour of violet flowers (natural or otherwise, depending on the brand) with a brandy or neutral spirit base.
Despite its ubiquity in classic cocktails, liqueur de violette is actually something of a rarity in the bartending world. This unusual liqueur was only very rarely available in the United States until 2007, and even in the modern-day United Kingdom it’s a tough find outside of speciality spirits shops. If you walk into a friend’s house and they have this beguiling cocktail ingredient in their bar cabinet, you know you’re in the presence in a true mixologist.
The liqueur de violette in February's Gin of the Month box was created especially for Craft Gin Club by the master liqueur makers at Fisselier. Emmanuel Fisselier and his father have been producing some of the world’s finest liqueurs since 1968, bottling them in beautifully original bottles as tribute to his greengrocer grandfather, the man whose love of beautiful liqueurs inspired what would become the family business.
Liqueur de violette and gin have a long and delicious history together, most famously in the form of the Aviation cocktail where the two combine with maraschino liqueur and lemon juice. A Craft Gin Club favourite, the Aviation, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2016, is sometimes said to have been invented by pilots during the first world war. Legend has it that the turbulence created ideal conditions to shake this cocktail to perfection – but, in actuality, its origin story is much more pedestrian. This slightly tart, slightly sweet gin cocktail was created by a New York City bartender in the early 20th century.
A relation of the Aviation, the Blue Moon recipe here is a simpler, but just as delicious gin and violette creation. It is thought to have been invented around 1940 by Oscar Tschirky of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel – the same man who is credited with inventing Eggs Benedict and the Waldorf Salad. Now, that’s the makings of pretty great brunch…
15ml Fisselier Liqueur de Violette
15ml Lemon Juice
Lemon twist, to garnish
Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake hard for 15 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a lemon twist.