What Does Crème De Violette Taste Like? And What is it Exactly?

By Timo Torner / Last updated on August 26, 2023

Crème de Violette is a forerunner to other popular floral liqueurs like Parfait D'Amour and Crème Yvette. The liqueur that emerged from Europe is made from wild violet flowers, is low-proof, and has a dark blue to purple color.
What does Creme de Violette taste like

The scent and aroma are delicate and flowery with a subtle earthy note. On the tongue is light and thin, not as oily as one might expect from a Crème liqueur. The taste of Crème de Violette is distinctly sweet and floral. The floral notes come from violet flowers, buds, and petals. Depending on the product, the flavor profile of the liqueur often carries notes of herbal flavors, hints of citrus, and even fruity notes.

The liqueur was unavailable in the United States for a long time. Luckily, in 2007 Haus Alpenz began importing the indispensible component of classic cocktails like the Aviation cocktail again. Soon after, other importers followed suit and began importing various violet-flavored liqueurs.

Learn more about what Crème de Violette is, how it tastes, and how you can use it in cocktails.

What is Crème de Violette?

Bottle of violet liqueur

Crème de Violette is a floral liqueur first created in the 19th century by steeping violet petals in brandy and adding sugar. The coloring and flavoring are often natural but also can be artificial. That depends on the brand, as there is no legal requirement.

The base of the liqueur is either Weinbrand (the German word for Brandy) or another neutral grain spirit. On some occasions, it's even a blend of both. It's a low-proof liqueur with an ABV that typically ranges between 16% and 22%. The products from Monin and Giffard are on the lower end of this spectrum, the liqueur from The Bitter Truth is on the upper end, and the expression from Haus Alpenz clocks in at 20% (40 proof).

The history of Crème de Violette

History of Creme de Violette - Ensslin's recipe for aviation with Creme de violette

Crème de Violette is a relatively old liqueur dating back to the early 19th century. In the 1890s, the popularity of the dark purple violet liqueur peaked.

At this time, Crème de Violette wasn't consumed in cocktails but simply in combination with Dry Vermouth. In the 1900s, interest in the liqueur dropped. As a consequence, many producers decided to discontinue their violet liqueurs.

In 1916, Hugo Ensslin created the original Aviation cocktail recipe. Part of this was also Crème de Violette. Unfortunately, this didn't help the liqueur from becoming a rarity on bar menus.

When Haus Alpenz decided to bring back Crème de Violette to the US, the craft cocktail movement had already started. Therefore, bartenders began experimenting with it as soon as it hit the market - and naturally, they tried Ensslin's classic recipe.

Since then, the demand for Crème de Violette and other violet-flavored liqueurs has been rising again.

How Crème de Violette is made

The basic recipe of every Crème de Violette liqueur is quite similar. Violet flowers, petals, and buds are steeped in a spirit base like brandy or any other neutral spirit. Added sugar lends the liqueurs its sweet taste and an ideal texture. The exact recipes vary from product to product. 

The famous Rothman & Winter Crème de Violette by Haus Alpine uses a base of Weinbrand (a Brandy distilled from grapes) and is flavored with Queen Charlotte and March violets growing in the Alps. After careful maceration of these native wildflowers, the liqueur is sweetened with cane sugar. This sweetener adds enough flavor to the liqueur that no additional flavorings from vanilla or fruits are needed.

Tasting Notes


The aroma of the liqueur is distinctly floral, subtle, and inviting. The sweet violet fragrance and earthy aromas leave a lasting impression.


The taste is sweet, floral, and almost perfume-like. It's often described as being similar to violet candy. After our taste test, I can only confirm this comparison. It has an amazing flowery and sweet taste that reminds me of other floral liqueurs.


The aftertaste and finish are very gentle and floral with a delicate sweetness. It's not too heavy or oily and leaves a pleasant violet note on the palate.


Crème de Violette is an easy-to-drink floral liqueur that isn't overly complex. The subtle floral flavors made it easy for me to enjoy it from the first sip. However, I can imagine that the perfume, flowery aroma, and flavor might not be everyone's cup of tea.

The color of the liqueur is usually dark purple to dark blue. The shade depends on the brand and, ultimately, the ingredients of the specific liqueur.

Likewise, the color of the iconic Aviation cocktail ranges somewhere between purple and blue. That, however, does not only depend on the ingredients but also on whether you shake or stir the drink.

What color is it?

The color of the liqueur is usually dark purple to dark blue. The shade depends on the brand and, ultimately, the ingredients of the specific liqueur.

Likewise, the color of the iconic Aviation cocktail ranges somewhere between purple and blue. That, however, does not only depend on the ingredients but also on whether you shake or stir the drink.

How to serve Crème de Violette

Crème de Violette is best when served chilled as aperitif, in combination with Prosecco or Cava, or in floral cocktail recipes.

The liqueur is also fun to experiment with as it pairs perfectly with citrus juices, sparkling wine, and various spirits including tequila, rhum agricole, and gin. The floral and herbal notes of the crème liqueur go especially well with the botanical notes in gin.

Crème de Violette cocktails

Creme de Violette cocktails

Do you need Inspiration for drink recipes? Here are some delightful cocktail classics that make the most of Crème de Violette's unique flavor profile:

  • Violette Royale: Elevate your brunch with this upgraded mimosa. By blending 3/4 ounces of Crème de Violette with Champagne, you can savor its vanilla-floral essence without overwhelming your senses. Pour the Crème de Violette into a Champagne flute, filling it to the top with sparkling wine (about 5 ounces), and add a lemon twist for a finishing touch.
  • Blue Moon: Contrary to the skepticism around blue cocktails, the Blue Moon is a classic beauty. It harmoniously brings together floral Crème de Violette, herbal gin, and zesty lemon. Shake up 2 ounces of gin, 3/4 ounces of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 3/4 ounces of Crème de Violette with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain the mixture into a cocktail coupe and garnish it with a Maraschino cherry.
  • The Aviation: This popular and light cocktail is a vibrant drink combining flavors of gin, Crème de Violette, lemon juice, and Maraschino Cherry Liqueur. With its smooth and fruity profile, it's the perfect refreshing sip for the summer.

More floral liqueurs

Floral liqueurs are often an elegant way to sweeten drinks and, at the same time, add a floral touch. They are a favorite to mix into romantic cocktail creations for Valentine's Day or spring or summer drinks.

Classic Aviation Cocktail


A classic Gin cocktail with a purple shade.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gin
Servings: 1
Calories: 217kcal
Cost: $3.40


  • 1 Jigger
  • 1 Cocktail Shaker
  • 1 Hawthorne Strainer


  • 2 oz Gin - London Dry or Plymouth
  • 0.5 oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Crème de Violette
  • 0.75 oz Lemon juice
  • 1 Maraschino cherry as a cocktail garnish


  • Add all ingredients to your cocktail shaker. Fill it with ice and shake until the drink is chilled.
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Finally, garnish your Aviation with a Maraschino cherry speared on a cocktail pick.


Serving: 3.75ozCalories: 217kcalCarbohydrates: 28.25gSodium: 4.75mgPotassium: 77.25mgSugar: 24.88gVitamin C: 29.25mgCalcium: 4.5mgIron: 0.08mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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