Take Five: Creme de Violette

Benoit Liqueur de la Violette

25% alc./vol.
Producer: Benoit Serres, Villefranche-de-Lauragais, Haute-Garonne, France

Made by macerating violet flowers in a base of Armagnac and other brandies to a recipe created in the 1950s.

Appearance: Clear, Methylated spirits purple/mauve.
Aroma: Perfumed, floral Parma Violet with pronounced white cacao and faint carbolic soap.
Taste: Pure, clean perfumed Parma Violets with faint citrus and alcohol tingle, well-balanced.
Aftertaste: Continuation of palate, gently fading away to light peppery spice.
diffordsguide rating: 5+/5

Rothman & Winter Creme de Violette

20% alc./vol.
Producer: Destillerie Purkhart, Steyr, Austria

Made by macerating Queen Charlotte and March Violets found in the Alps in Austrian grape eau de vie according to a recipe the makers claim is three generations old.

Appearance: Clear, deep mauve.
Aroma: Candied violet that lacks the floral aromas found in other crèmes de violette, with faint notes we found reminiscent of washing-up detergent.
Taste: Clean, violet flavour, with slight boiled sweet note, lacks intense floral flavours.
Aftertaste: A gradual fading of the flavours found on the palate.
diffordsguide rating: 3.5/5

Briottet Liqueur de Violette

18% alc./vol.
Producer: Edmond Briottet, Dijon, France

Established in 1836 by Edmond Briottet and located in Dijon, France, Briottet extracts the essence of fresh violet petals to make this blue amethyst-coloured liqueur.

Appearance: Clear, methylated spirits purple/mauve.
Aroma: Initial faint methylated spirit note preambles the violet nose with old lady's perfumed talcum powder.
Taste: Syrupy, icing sugar sweetness precedes subdued Parma Violet palate.
Aftertaste: Continuation of main palate to fade with final notes of fresh liquorice root.
diffordsguide rating: 4.5/5

Monin Crème de Violette

16% alc./vol.
Producer: Georges Monin, Place des Marronniers, 18000 Bourges, France

Although better known for its flavoured sugar syrups, Monin understand flavours and in this case uses its 100-years of experience to flavour this violet liqueur.

Appearance: Clear, methylated spirits purple/mauve.
Aroma: Reminiscent of talcum powder and shoe polish (but not unpleasantly).
Taste: Icing sugar and candy floss with generic floral, old lady's toiletries, rather than convincing Parma Violets.
Aftertaste: Fades with notes of icing sugar and talcum powder.
diffordsguide rating: 3.5/5

The Bitter Truth

20% alc./vol.
Producer: Destillerie Purkhart, Steyr, Austria

Two German bartenders, Stephan Berg and Alexander Hauck, are the driving force behind the Bitter Truth brand. Their crème de violette is made using wild violet blossoms from the Alps, which are macerated in grain neutral spirit.

Appearance: Clear, deep indigo / Indian ink.
Aroma: Lightly perfumed violet faint milk chocolate/pick 'n' mix candy and liquorice root.
Taste: More delicate than some other crème de violette with very faint white chocolate.
Aftertaste: Fading flavours from the palate.
diffordsguide rating: 4 /5

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