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8 BEST Crème De Violette Substitutes [For Recipes & Cocktails]

Creating cocktails with various ingredients and flavors is something that has taken off the last few years. While flavors such as sour apple, strawberry and chocolate are all still wildly popular, more natural and earthy types of flavors are now being featured on restaurant menus.

Creme de violette is one of those flavors that gives an organic, “earthy” taste to a classic cocktail.

If you are unfamiliar with what creme de violette is, that’s because it isn’t something that is well-known throughout the United States. Creme de violette, as described below, began in France and wasn’t available in the United States until 2007. Now, it has gained momentum as a key ingredient to several craft cocktails and even spritzers.

If it’s not a liqueur that you have used before in cocktail recipes, there are plenty of recipes to help create the perfect drink. There are also ways to get that same violet taste with other alternatives to the traditional creme de violette.

What is Creme de violette?

Creme de violette is a liqueur sometimes known just as violet. Creme de violette is typically a shade of lavender and made from the leaves of hibiscus, violets, lavender and borage. The Creme de violette can either have a citrus taste or a sweeter taste that includes honey.

It was apparently first used in a cocktail beverage in the 19th century. At the time, there weren’t any “fancy” cocktails for its use, so it was served alone or even being  used alongside vermouth. Now, it is used as an ingredient in many different variations of craft cocktails.

Creme de violette wasn’t available for purchase in the United States until 2007.

Derived in France, it was mainly found in Europe and other parts of the world until it became more readily accessible in the United States. Since 2007, creme de violette as well as other products on the market that are similar, can be found in any liquor store. Allowing for the popularity and demand of the liqueur to increase through the years.

What makes the Creme de violette unique compared to other liqueurs is the hint of fresh lavender flowers that are grown throughout Europe. That lavender taste creates a cocktail unlike any other which is the reason why the Creme de violette is likely imported and not made here in the United States.

Creme De Violette Uses in Recipes

Here are a few cocktail recipes that feature creme de violette liqueur and are a one of a kind cocktail that you can’t find just anywhere. For the most part, these recipes don’t call for an excessive amount of creme de violette, so if you purchase a bottle of the liqueur, you will get your money’s worth of different possible cocktails to try out.

Aviation

One of the most popular and well-known creme de violette themed cocktails is called the Aviation. This sweet cocktail is served in a cocktail glass that just highlights the purple hues from the beverage.

The Aviation is a cocktail made of: two ounces gin, ¼ ounce of maraschino liqueur, ¼ ounce of creme de violette and ½ ounce of fresh lemon juice. This sweet, yet tangy cocktail is great for a summer afternoon. Although there is just ¼ ounce of the creme de violette, its fresh, flowery aroma can be tasted in every sip.

Creme de Violette Spritz

With the evolution of creme de violette into the United States in the early 2000s, it also comes with new, innovative recipes. One of those being a spritz take on the creme de violette. Casey Barber of Food Stories LLC, shared her recipe for a creme de violette spritz that she makes for her parties and that has been given great feedback from her guests.

The creme de violette spritz has two ounces of creme de violette, one ounce of lime juice, eight ounces of sparkling wine, she suggests Prosecco and the garnished with an orange peel. She recommends serving in champagne flute glasses. This is a great option for a brunch or maybe even a garden party.

Water Lily

The Water Lily cocktail highlights the creme de violette with gin and triple sec. Take ¾ ounce of your favorite brand of Gin and ¾ ounce of triple sec along with ¾ ounce of creme de violette and 3.4 ounce of lemon juice. Mix with ice and strain into a martini glass and serve with an orange.

Violette Squeeze

If you are a fan of the Aviation cocktail, the Violette Squeeze, is a great alternative created by the travel blogger website, Warytravelers.com. The Violette Squeeze  brings the hint of lemon with the violette but also adds some carbonation with the addition of club soda.

This recipe also substitutes the gin with vodka. The Violette Squeeze recipe is as follows: 1 ½ ounces of vodka, three ounces of creme de violette, 1 ½ ounces of fresh lemon juice, one ounce of simple syrup and eight ounces of club soda. It was created as an alternate version and something as close as possible to the original. The use of different measurements and different ingredients really gives it a “pop”.

Crème De Violette Substitutes

Since creme de violette is still not as widely popular as it is overseas, finding it in stores throughout the United States may still be a tall task. But, there are ways to make your favorite lavender infused alcoholic beverages even if you don’t have creme de violette.

Finding a substitute for creme de violet can be challenging seeing as you will want to find something that not only brings the shade of lavender to the beverage as well as the “flowery” taste to the drink as well.

There are some substitutes available in stores that will help create a similar look and taste that creme de violette does.

Parfait d’Amour

The first being the Parfait d’Amour, which is used in many other cocktail recipes. The Parfait d’Amour is a shade of purple and known as originating from the Netherlands. Unlike the official creme de violette, the Parfait d’Amour has more of a citrus and vanilla  flavor instead of a floral flavor.

Creme Yvette

Creme Yvette, like the Parfait d’Amour is a similar product as the creme de violette but, also brings in more vanilla and citrus than the flowery taste of the original. But, would still make for a comparable substitute, if need be.

Violet gin

Violet gin is a great substitute for creme violette, but it could make your cocktail a bit stronger. Violet gin obviously has a higher alcohol content than liqueur which may have you considering adding more of the other ingredients to balance the kick the gin will give.

The violet gin however, will bring the correct hue of purple you are looking for and expect from the creme de violette.

Monin Syrup

A violet flavored syrup is another option to get the color and flavor that you are looking for. The flavored syrup can be used for non-alcoholic beverages as well as cocktails and will also leave you the option of choosing the type of liquor and other ingredients and still getting the violet taste as well.

Monin, who is well-known for their flavored syrups, makes a great violet syrup that is flavorful and quite affordable as well.

St-Germain

Another idea for a substitute for creme de violette could be another floral liqueur that isn’t necessarily violet. The St-Germain is a liqueur that contains elderflowers from France and gives a sweet, citrus taste.

The St-Germain, although more tropical than the creme de violette, will still give a floral taste as the violet flowers do.

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Rozulin

The Rozulin is a great substitute that brings the European flower taste but, with roses rather than violets. Rozulin is a sweet and smooth liquor that will make you feel like you are smelling a fresh bouquet of roses.

Rosolio

Although not French, the Rosolio, is an Italian liqueur that brings hints of roses and juniper. It was first created by soaking rose petals in the liquor, although there are new ways to create the Rosolio and apparently still create a pop of roses to the liqueur.

As with the creme de violette and the other substitutes, they are for the most part all imported from Europe to give the authentic European flower taste.

Elderflower Liqueur

Elderflower Liqueur is a genuine good idea for a substitute, but it won’t give the full purple hue as a violet liqueur or syrup would.

While the elderflowers will work its magic in the cocktail, it may be necessary to add a purple food coloring to give the purple look to the drink, although it won’t change the overall look, it will help with the appearance.

Conclusion

For those who are in making a cocktail with the creme de violette, whether it’s the Aviation or something else, you are probably wondering what brands to consider.

The Rothman and and Winter Creme de Violette is one of the most popular and easily found in stores across the United States. On average, it can be purchased for about $25-$30 per bottle, which is affordable for a European liqueur. Each recipe doesn’t call for a substantial amount of the creme de violette, so it is something that would go far.

The Creme Yvette is also affordable at about $25 per bottle, but isn’t a true violet taste, but will give a fruitful flavor for cocktail drinkers who prefer a sweeter taste.

With the violet flavor being a little much for first time drinkers, trying different measurements of the liqueur is essential to creating a cocktail that you really enjoy.