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creme de violette

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Celebrities & Champagne, Drinks

Sip a Sparkling Viola Cocktail: Inspired by Viola Davis

February 24, 2012

For the first time in a few years, I’ll be tuning into the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday. I’ll be watching because I really want to see Viola Davis with the award for Best Actress.

This amazing actress, wife and mother is getting her long-overdue star turn for her work in The Help, a movie about a group of maids in 1960s Mississippi.

She may seem like a late bloomer, but Viola Davis has been practicing her craft for years, giving deeply moving portrayals of people who were often in some kind of pain. One of my roles favorite was on the show “Without a Trace.” She played a mother grappling with the disappearance of her son, and the fact that TV news blasted the story of a missing blond girl, while ignoring her son’s plight.

Davis is making the most of her star turn with gorgeous awards-show ensembles, which inspired the Polyvore set by Svud Je Holivud. Viola’s bubbly, dark and lovely and it inspired me to toast her with a special golden Oscar’s cocktail.

The viola, a dainty flower related to the violet and pansy, is one of my favorite edible flowers. They come in a range of gorgeous shades, and they have so much personality with markings that resemble a face. Candied or in cocktails, they have a sweet cucumber taste.

The Sparkling Viola
1 ounce Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette Liqueur
3/4 ounce blackberry syrup
4 ounces demi sec champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
1 fresh blackberry
1 organic viola flower
24K edible gold leaf flakes

Add the violet liqueur and blackberry syrup to a champagne flute. Top with the sparkling wine. Garnish with the blackberry. Lay the viola on top of the cocktail and top with a sprinkle of gold.

© By Maria C. Hunt aka The Bubbly Girl. All rights reserved.



Viola Davis

Cocktail Recipes

The Bubbly Girl Drink of the Week: The Aviation

September 20, 2009

Aviation has been on my mind. Both the kind that you sip and the kind that involves checking in and taking off your shoes.  I guess that’s probably because I’m getting ready to travel to my hometown Chicago for Bubbly Bar book parties on October 1, 2 and 3.

But Chicago was also the first place I tasted the Aviation. It was on an election night — that momentous election night of 2008 — visit to The Drawing Room in the Gold Coast area. Scanning cleverly written menu, I spotted an Aviation, which included gin, maraschino and violet liqueur — I was in.

Since it was a quiet night, head mixologist Charles Joly brought the custom-made bar cart to the table and started making our drinks. As he worked, he told the story of the Aviation. I’d never understood why the clear combination of gin, maraschino and lemon labeled an Aviation on most menus warranted such a lofty name. But Joly explained that the original version of the drink — created just as commercial flight was becoming popular — included the liqueur Creme de Violette which stained it a pale blue. With the violet liqueur, an Aviation matches the color of the wild blue yonder.

Charles Joly, head mixologist of the Drawing Room, explained the story behind the Aviation cocktail. (Photo by Maria Hunt)

Charles Joly, head mixologist of the Drawing Room, explained the story behind the Aviation cocktail. (Photo by Maria Hunt)

I had another Aviation recently at a tasting by Preiss Imports, a rather low key San Diego spirit importer with a screaming good portfolio of 500 liqueurs and spirits. Two of their imports include the Italian cherry liqueur Luxardo Maraschino and Parfait Amour, a perfectly lovely French spirit created from violets.

No matter which violet liqueur you choose, a properly made Aviation has a fresh, bracing and fragrant flavor that takes you on a tasty journey.

2 ounces dry gin
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Luxardo Maraschino
1/4 ounce violet liqueur
lemon zest, for garnish

Add the gin, lemon juice, maraschino and violet liqueur to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 30 times. Strain into a cocktail glass like a vintage champagne coupe if you have one. Garnish with the lemon zest.

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes

The Bubbly Girl’s Drink of the Week: Angel Eyes at La Puerta

April 24, 2009
The Angel Eyes uses Ronsangel hibiscus infused tequila and the vintage liqueur Creme de Violette.

The Angel Eyes uses Rosangel hibiscus infused tequila and the vintage liqueur Creme de Violette.

With spring turning into summer — at least in San Diego — it seemed the perfect time for a fresh floral cocktail. I love the complexity and hint of mystery that floral flavors add to cocktails. When they’re used with champagne, the bubbles take those wonderful scents into the air and add another dimension to the experience.

Rosangel is a new hibiscus infused tequila by Gran Centenario that has a subtle floral flavor and just happens to be a gorgeous shade of pink. Jennifer Queen, the head bartender at the hip Mexican restauant La Puerta in San Diego, uses Rosangel and a vintage liqueur called Creme de Violette to craft a seductive champagne cocktail she calls Angel Eyes. If pink, hibiscus flavored tequila strikes your fancy, then check out the gallery of Rosangel recipes like a Rosangel Ruby Fizz from Julier Reiner and other top mixologists from around the nation.


1 ½ oz. Gran Centenario Rosangel Tequila

½ oz. Creme de Violet

½ oz. Agave nectar

4-5 Muddled Blackberries

Squeeze of Lemon

Rosé Champagne

Preparation: Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and fine strain into a Champagne flute.

Top with Rosé Champagne and garnish with a sprig of mint.

From Jennifer Queen, La Puerta in downtown San Diego