We are always excited when we come upon a recipe that allows us to use some of the more obscure ingredients in our collection. We are the proud owners of no less than four blue-tinged spirits boasting violet as a dominant flavor. We were overjoyed when Crème Yvette became available in our region and quickly snatched up a bottle, but the truth is that we have only found three or four cocktails that use the spirit. Similarly we purchased The Bitter Truth Violet while fantasizing of Aviations for years to come. Yet when we stumbled upon a bottle of the famed Crème de Violette on a recent trip to Hawaii we stood powerless before it and just had to bring it home. We can’t seem to help ourselves…
Armed with an arsenal of floral liqueurs we were more than ready to try out this recipe. Because we thought the Yvette, with it’s vanilla-berry-floral notes to be more complex than its cousin Crème de Violette, we chose it to star in the Blue Moon. The Yvette also boasts a more viscous texture and pronounced sweetness that we thought would befit the drink. The downside of using Yvette is that the finished cocktail is purple rather than a sky blue.
The Blue Moon is a pleasant drink; each sip seems to offer more nuances of the Yvette, which keeps me returning. The citrus is present but doesn’t dominate. The palate receives fruity notes of berry and lemon but the finish is floral without being soapy.
The drink is too subtle for D, who says, “It tastes like gin.” While I disagree I do understand where he’s coming from. The Algonquin, for instance, lost all distinction on my palate – all I tasted was rye. Not all drinks suit all palates; this is part of what makes cocktailing fun. That being said our tastes do evolve with patience and practice. As D nursed his drink he did start to find the Yvette both on the nose and the finish.
Never let it be said, dear reader, that we do a thing halfway. We may only have 3 followers but we want to make sure that you are fully informed. With that in mind we attempted a second version of this drink starring the aforementioned Crème de Violette. It was a hit. D much preferred the color and he liked the floral nose. It was much less subtle, but sometimes you need to be smacked in the face with flavor. As with the Aviation if you like a sweeter drink feel free to add a teaspoon of simple syrup to the mix.
The Blue Moon is not as multifaceted as The Aviation and given the choice between the two I would always choose the latter. But don’t let that deter you from giving this cocktail a shot. All in the name of the game…
The Blue Moon
- 2 ounces gin
- .5 ounce Crème de Violette or Crème Yvette
- .5 ounce fresh lemon juice
Shake over ice. Strain. Garnish with a lemon twist and a cherry.