What is Crème de Violette?
Crème de Violette is a French liqueur made from a combination of violets and a brandy or spirit base. It is violet/purple in color, has a floral aroma and a fruity taste.
It can be served as an after-dinner liqueur and is a popular ingredient in cocktails, like the Aviation and the Blue Moon.
Crème de Violette substitutes
Crème Yvette is a liqueur made with violets, making it one of the best substitutes for Crème de Violette. It is made from violet petals, blackberries, red raspberries, strawberries, cassis, orange peel, honey and vanilla. This berry-flavored liqueur has a sweet, floral flavor that is similar to Creme de Violette
Most drinks requiring Crème de Violette can be substituted with Crème Yvette.
Parfait d’amour is another liqueur. It is often used in cocktails primarily for its purple color and is usually created from a curaçao liqueur base. There are different versions of Parfait d’Amour and not all are made using violets. So, check the ingredients and flavor profile before you buy.
Bols Parfait d’amour is a blend of roses and violets with orange peel extract and is made with natural botanicals. Purple in color, it makes another excellent substitute for Crème de Violette.
Crème de Cassis
Crème de Cassis is a French liqueur made with blackcurrants. It is served as an after-dinner liqueur and is an ingredient in cocktails, such as Kir Royale.
The main ingredient or flavor of Crème de Cassis is blackcurrant. It is made from crushed blackcurrants soaked in alcohol, with added sugar.
Crème de Cassis can be a good substitute for Crème de Violette, as it has a similar flavor profile – both have a sweet, fruity flavor. It is, however, a different color to Crème de Violette – dark red rather than the purple/blue hue of Crème de Violette.
Violet syrup is an excellent non-alcoholic alternative to Crème de Violette. You will achieve the sweet violet flavor without the alcohol. It’s easy to find and there are many brands to choose from, like Monin.
To make a homemade violet simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add a few sprigs of fresh violets and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Strain the syrup and allow to cool.
Add a dash of Brandy or a neutral spirit to your cocktail, like vodka, for a more accurate alcoholic Crème de Violette substitute.
If you want to make the Aviation cocktail and you don’t have Crème de Violette, but you really want it to have the blue/purple hue to it, then violet gin can be a good substitute. The Aviation is made with gin. So, use violet gin where the recipe calls for gin, and use double Maraschino or Kirsch liqueur to make up for the lack of Crème de Violette. Most recipes call for .25 ounce of each, so you would use .5 ounce of Maraschino instead.
10 Cocktails made with Crème de Violette
- The Aviation: Gin, Creme de Violette, maraschino (cherry) liqueur, and lemon juice.
- The Blue Moon: Creme de Violette, gin, with a splash of lemon juice.
- English Rose: Gin, Vermouth, Crème de Violette, Grenadine syrup and lemon juice.
- Violette Royale: Champagne with a splash of Crème de Violette.
- Lavender Limoncello: A refreshing blend of limoncello, lavender, and lemon juice.
- Violet Fizz: A cocktail made with gin, Crème de Violette, and fresh lime juice.
- Lavender Margarita: A twist on the classic margarita, made with tequila, triple sec, and a splash of Crème de Violette.
- Violet Martini: A sophisticated cocktail made with vodka, dry vermouth, and Crème de Violette.
- Violette 75: Champagne, gin, Crème de Violette and fruit juice.
- Blue Hawaiian: Vodka, rum and Crème de Violette.