Saturday 9 April 2011
Aviation Challenge: Yvette vs Violette
Another lost and found ingredient is Crème Yvette, a liqueur that also has violets in it, among other things, and DBS has been encouraging me to try a head-to-head between the two in the Aviation cocktail. I've never actually seen an Aviation recipe that specified Crème Yvette in this way (although the Blue Moon cocktail from about 1940 is the same minus the maraschino), but I notice that the label of the recent rerelease mentions this cocktail by name. In any case, it sounded like an interesting experiment.
1¾ shots gin
½ shot maraschino
½ shot lemon juice
¼ shot crème de violette
Shake with ice and serve with a lemon twist
As you can see from the picture, the first obvious different is colour—although in practice both drinks were a bit lighter than they appear in the photo, but it gives you a general idea.
Made like this the classic recipe has just the right sweet/sour balance, with the added floral interest deftly hovering over the top: all the flavour elements are fairly clearly defined. Made with Yvette, the drink has a strikingly similar profile, but is clearly sweeter, both because the liqueur is sweeter but also the berry fruit elements in it come out, giving a sense of intrinsic sweetness, I think, as if there is a dash of Ribena in there.
David's post on Rock and Rye—which was in turn acquired by Maurice Cooper, Rob's grandad. Production ceased in 1969.
Tasted neat, Crème Yvette has a more balanced and complex taste than the crème de violette, with the violets and red berries coming out clearly—it is made with blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackcurrants, plus vanilla, honey and orange peel too, I gather.
Personally I think I prefer the cocktail made with the violette: the flavour elements blend harmoniously but each stands clearly defined too, giving the drink a classic simplicity. But if you prefer your drinks a little sweeter than perhaps they tended to be in the Golden Age, give the Yvette a try. It's also possible that the Blue Moon, without the maraschino, restores the sweetness balance. If I've got enough Yvette left in my sample I'll give it a try and report back.
For more Crème Yvette cocktail recipes see www.cremeyvette.com.