one hundred cocktails

drinking with a purpose


The Blue Moon

03 Apr 2011

The Blue Moon is a cocktail that offers the choice of using Crème Yvette or crème de violette. Reader, this is not a subtle difference; it’s like saying “use gin or genever.” Yvette is a liqueur that was unavailable in the states for many years when production stopped in 1969. Strangely, one of the primary makers prior to that was in Connecticut, of all places. Charles Jacquin et Cie is now making the liqueur again, and as to what it is, I’m not entirely sure, but consensus seems to be a proprietary mix of violet, berries, vanilla, and spices. It’s a reddish purple, and makes a blue moon that isn’t particularly blue

The Violette is a more simple creature, tasting of candied violets, and is distinctly purple in color.

Blue Moon stuffs; use ivolette or yvette, but not both.

I don’t have a picture of a pretty version served neat and up, as it keeps disappearing down the hatch before that ever happens. Here, however, is a spread from a party’s worth of tasting the two beverages.

A mess at a party.

So yeah, that’s a pile of dead lemons, a channel knife, some entirely unrelated orange custard pie, a chopstick used for twisting twists, and a couple of jiggers and shakers. Fun times were had by all.

But, almost universally, people preferred the more purple version. While the Yvette is an interesting creature, its complexity and subtlety is lost in the beverage, whereas the violette version has a singular focus and intensity that makes it far more compelling. Plus, it’s not often that one gets to drink a purple-blue beverage that isn’t flavored with some cheap cloying blue shit. This cocktail is up there in terms of favorites thus far – it’s interesting, unique, and appealing to those who like both the very dry and somewhat off-dry beverages. Highly recommended, if you can find the appropriate ingredient.