Classic Violet Liqueur Bound for Texas Bars

The spirits company responsible for St-Germain, an elderflower cordial beloved by cocktail geeks, is adding another ingredient to Texas bartenders' arsenals.

Crème Yvette, now available in six states nationwide, is slated to be released in Texas next month. The liqueur -- made from violets, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and currants -- was taken off the market in 1969 but brought back last year in response to demands from bartenders who couldn't make authentic Blue Moons and Pousse Cafés without it.

Bryan Townsend, sales manager for St-Germain, says Crème Yvette is fruitier than the Crème de Violette imported by Haus Alpenz, which bartenders now use to make their Aviation cocktails sky blue; the Washington Post described the liqueur as "more complex, with tastes of berries and spices, and more pronounced vanilla and honey flavors."

Poured side-by-side, Townsend says, "It's staggering to see the color. The Crème Yvette is a dark purple, and the Violette was almost an electric blue. It was very strange."

Tonwsend suspects Crème Yvette will most frequently be mixed with Champagne, but he's looking forward to trying a Pousse Café, a layered drink promoted on the back of early Crème Yvette bottles. The classic recipe calls for stacked pours of triple sec, crème Yvette, crème de cocoa, crème de menthe and grenadine; In drawings, the banded beverage looks like a sweater.

"Aesthetically, it's definitely interesting, Townsend says.

Townsend hopes bartenders will create their own concoctions around the liqueur, much as they've done with St-Germain. Also like St-Germain, Crème Yvette will have a slow roll-out.

"We like to build a base," Townsend explains. "It's going to be more on-premise sales, and it's a very limited supply."

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