Impulse purchases. I think we’re all guilty of them, and I’m especially a repeat offender when I’m in my local liquor store in the fancy liqueur section. There is something absolutely mesmerizing about seeing all of the liqueur bottles lined row upon row, each one containing a different elixir, with promises of wild cocktails to come. Then, once the bottle makes its way home with me, it gets opened right away, for the ceremonial first shot to be poured into some new drink (or on the rocks if I’m uninspired or lazy), and then off it goes to the basement coffers, aligned neatly next to the dozens of other bottles of liqueur from purchases of Christmas past, hopefully to be used once again. Hopefully.
Once I mentally tallied the cost of these bottles, I realized I needed to start using them before I ventured off to buy yet another one (this time, it’s Aperol I want) to add to my ever growing collection. So, I made the most of my Sunday afternoon, cracked open a few cocktail recipe books, and found the Violet Fizz. From A. J. Rathbun’s aptly titled Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz, this book celebrates cocktail making with all kinds of liqueurs. The perfect book for someone like me, who has tons of nearly full liqueur bottles and no idea what to do with them, it outlines cocktail recipes by flavour profile, and uses both commonly known liqueurs, such as Campari and Southern Comfort, and some more modern, lesser known brands, like Creme Yvette and Saint Germain.
Likely named for its lovely colour, the author dedicates this drink to lesser known comic strip characters, and in this case, it’s for Violet Gray, the underutilized dark-haired girl in Peanuts. And I quote, “here’s to you, supporting characters, here’s to you”.
This is a gin based drink, so choose a gin you love. I made a few substitutions here – my Creme Yvette for the creme de violette, and some agave nectar for the simple syrup. The club soda mixed in with the ingredients really lightens the drink and makes it less alcohol heavy, rendering a perfect afternoon sipping cocktail while you pursue other leisurely quests like catching up with a good book in front of the fireplace, or in Meat and Tater Man’s case, watching the football game.
An easily drinkable fizz recipe, perfectly fit for a hot summer's day, or a cold winter's afternoon by the fire.
This recipe is from A. J. Rathbun's Ginger Bliss and the Violet Fizz.
I now use agave nectar as a substitution for simple syrup in any cocktail, and it works every time.
- Ice cubes
- 2 oz gin
- 1/2 oz Creme de Violette or Creme Yvette
- 1/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 oz simple syrup or agave nectar
- Chilled club soda
- Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the gin, Creme Yvette, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake extra well, at least 30 seconds.
- Fill a highball glass three quarters full with ice cubes. Strain the mixture into the glass.
- Fill the glass with chilled club soda, stir well, and drink quickly, before those bubbles have a chance to fade.