Creme de Violette is a French liqueur with a slightly sweet, floral flavor. The use of violet petals gives this drink a distinctive dark purple color. It’s perfect for adding vibrant color to cocktails like the Blue Moon and Aviation.
If you can’t get your hands on a bottle, then keep reading. We’ve created a handy list of Creme de Violette substitutes to help you finish any cocktail without it.
What can I use to replace Crème de Violette?
To replace Crème de Violette in the liquor cabinet use Parfait Amour or Crème Yvette. For an alcohol-free replacement try Violette Syrup or purple food coloring. If you’ve got time up your sleeve, making a homemade infusion is a low-cost alternative.
1. Parfait Amour
Parfait Armour is a liqueur that combines parma violets and rose petals with extra ingredients like vanilla, orange peel, and almonds. A spirit like curaçao is often used as the base.
Parfait Amour has a more pronounced citrus, vanilla flavor than Creme de Violette. But it’s very similar visually and won’t be out of place in your next Violet Fizz or Water Lily.
2. Crème Yvette
Crème Yvette is another liqueur made by pairing violets with a base spirit and sweetener. It can be used as a replacement if you’re in a pinch but has some noticeable differences. The addition of ingredients like strawberries, raspberries, vanilla, honey, and orange peel results in a more complex, fruity flavor profile.
You’ll also notice that Crème Yvette is red while Crème de Violette is purple. A classic Aviation or Eagle’s Dream won’t have that greying-purple hue you’d expect in a legit cocktail bar. For a hobbyist bartender at home, the difference won’t matter.
Crème Yvette carries a higher price tag, so if you’re looking for a substitute to save money, this isn’t a good choice.
3. Violet gin
If you’re trying mostly looking for a purple liquor that makes a statement, then violet gin is worth trying. It has additional botanical flavors and a stronger alcohol punch, so keep that in mind when mixing.
The Blue Moon cocktail usually calls for gin as a key ingredient. So violet gin makes your job as a mixologist a little easier. All you need to do is add a squeeze of lemon juice and it's ready to drink!
4. Violette Syrup
Not everyone drinks alcohol. If you want to make mocktails then Violette Syrup, like the one made by Giffard, is a handy replacement. It’s made from an infusion of violet flowers and essential oils. The syrup has a floral taste, like Crème de Violette, but also has some rose and lavender notes.
Other excellent brands of Violette Syrup include Fabbri and Monin. Whichever brand you choose, syrup is a much cheaper option than a liqueur.
Home chefs will also find Violette Syrup a useful ingredient in the kitchen. Use it to add a floral taste and purple shade to baked goods, puddings, and desserts.
5. Purple food coloring
If you’re just wanting the purple visual effect without the alcohol, then a purple food dye will work. Without a doubt, this is the cheapest way to replace Crème de Violette in sweet recipes and mocktails.
To make up for the reduced liquid and lack of sweetness, add a little simple syrup.
6. Make your own
Would you like to make a homemade small batch of Crème de Violette? It’s super easy to make, but you’ll need to get your hands on violet petals. If you don’t have them growing anywhere nearby, you can buy them dried from specialist ingredient suppliers online. Alternatively, consider buying edible hibiscus flowers which are easier to find.
- 1 cup violet flowers
- 2 cups vodka
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- Add violet flowers and vodka to a glass jar and seal the lid. Place the jar away from direct sunlight and allow it to steep for 2 days.
- Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth or coffee filter and discard the solids. Set the infusion aside.
- Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan and cook on a medium heat, stirring frequently. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and allow the simple syrup to cool.
- Pour the syrup into a clean jar or bottle and add the violet infusion, then shake. Serve immediately or store refrigerated for at least 12 months.
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- Crème de Violette is also known as violet liqueur or Crème de violet.
- The liqueur is best known for its use in Blue Moon, Aviation, and Violette Royale cocktails.
- Crème de violette is a maceration of violets in a neutral alcohol or brandy. It was first made in the 1800s, drunken straight or mixed with Vermouth.
- Some of the best brands of Crème de violette include Giffard, Rothman and Winter, Golden Moon, and The Bitter Truth.
A seasoned bartender understands the challenge of trying to replicate the flavor and color of Crème de Violette. Its purple hue and clean floral taste are one of a kind. But that doesn’t mean you can’t replace it in cocktails and dessert recipes. You just need to be flexible.
A bottle of Parfait Amour or Crème Yvette will be your best choice if you want a comparable liqueur. If you’re up for a big night and don’t care much about a different flavor, then Violet Gin will make a tasty Blue Moon.
For a good no-alcohol substitute, use Violette syrup if you’ve got time to track down this lesser-known ingredient. Otherwise, a simple food dye can be used in a pinch.
If you’ve got access to violet petals, then make your own by infusing them in a spirit like vodka. This will result in an authentic tasting Aviation cocktail. But if you don’t take your cocktail making too seriously, the other options on this list will work just fine.