A Tale of Two Cremes

May 3, 2017

Before embarking on this Mr. Boston’s journey, we had never heard of Creme Yvette. Given the recent popularity of the Aviation Cocktail, we had been aware of Creme de Violette for sometime but it was not until I started researching all of the liquor variants needed that I discovered that the two Creme’s are actually very different.

Both Yvette and Violette are crafted from Violet flower petals giving them a purplish hue. However, in addition to the Violet petals, Creme Yvette is comprised of blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and currant berries creating a lovely berry cobbler flavor. By contrast, Rothman & Winter’s brand of Creme de Violette is crafted by macerating Queen Charlotte and March Violets in Weinbrand which is a grape based Brandy. To add to the sweetness, Rothman & Winter notes the addition of cane sugar while Creme Yvette producer, Cooper Spirits Company, says they “add a touch of honey and orange peel” to their finished spirit.

Over the years, Creme Yvette had replaced Creme de Violette in some cocktail recipes following the end of Prohibition. But, in 1969 Sheffield Company of Connecticut and the fruit herbal liqueur became tricky to find. It wasn’t until Cooper Spirits Company re-introduced their French made Creme Yvette in 2009 that this delicious liqueur made its way back to store shelves. That said, Ryan and I had a hard time getting our hands on a bottle of Creme Yvette despite living in a town built around drinking. This liqueur in particular was one of the main reasons we needed to make our way to Costa Mesa in the first place.

After tasting the Creme Yvette and Creme de Violette side by side, I’m not sure why the later hasn’t become as widely available as the Violette as I find it to have a superior flavor profile. While the Violette has a flashy purple coloring (with the help of food coloring), it is also a little reminiscent of floral shampoo. As a berry lover, my taste buds tend to lean toward the fruit over the flower. That said I do enjoy the Creme de Violette as well, just not quite as much.

Since tomorrow’s post is all about the Aviation Cocktail, I’ll go into the Creme de Violette a bit more tomorrow. For now, I’ll share last nights Creme Yvette cocktail The Atty.

A Gin heavy cocktail, I had expected the Juniper notes to take over on the Atty Cocktail. To my surprise the botanicals used in Dolin’s Dry Vermouth actually took the lead despite being a third of the Gin volume.

We had run out of our in-house Gin the night before and after yet another visit to the liquor store, we popped a little more than a vial of our Gin No.6 infusion spices into 1.75 liters of Total Wines Spirit Direct brand Starr Blu Vodka. For the money, this seems to be a decent bottle of Vodka. When making our compound Gin we usually look for a low priced Vodka with the highest amount of distillation and filtering. Starr Blu says it is distilled five times so we thought we’d give it a go. After an 1-1/2 hours of steeping our Gin was good enough to mix-up the Atty. We left the Gin botanicals in the Vodka overnight to get some more flavor out before filtering the entire 1.75 liters the next day.

Though this drink only requires 3 dashes of Creme de Yvette, the berry notes carried through nicely and created a beautiful pale pink liquid. The final cocktail is very refreshing, especially when enjoyed nice and cold. I could see a white wine enthusiast really enjoying the Atty as the wine-based Vermouth is pronounced and the botanicals of the Gin and Creme Yvette delicately follow suit.

As the days start to heat up out here in the desert, I foresee myself mixing up a few more Atty’s. I’d better wait until I’m further along in the Mr. Boston’s book though since we’ve already killed half the Apricot Brandy and 1.75 liters of Gin on this experiment thus far and we haven’t made it through the A’s yet!

Until tomorrow 😉