Saturday, July 5, 2014

Disturbing Movie Inspires Delicious Drink.

Did you ever watch the original Willy Wonka as a kid? I did, and I was terrified. Of course there's plenty to be creeped out by in a movie about a vindictive candymaker who preys on misbehaving children, but the one scene that really gave me the willies was the one where Violet Beauregarde turns into a giant blueberry. That, my friends, is the stuff of nightmares. And also, it turns out, delicious cocktails.

Because somewhere along the line, I had the idea to make a cocktail in honor of poor Violet, with creme de violette and, of course, blueberries. And as luck would have it, blueberries and violet are actually really, really good together.

I started out mixing the blueberries and violette with rum, but I didn't quite like how that turned out, so I switched to gin, which was better, and a natural choice because gin and floral flavors are always a good pair. And then I tried it with Cointreau, which was a bit much, and sugar syrup, which was a bit eh, and then with maraschino, which was just right. It was only after I'd done all this work that i suddenly realized: "wait... this is just an aviation with blueberries in it." Oh well. is pretty good.

The Violet Beauregarde Cocktail
2 oz gin (I used Nolet silver, which pairs really beautifully with floral flavors)
.75 lemon juice
.5 creme de violette
.5 maraschino
12 blueberries (Texas ones!)

Here's how you do: place the blueberries in the mixing glass of your shaker, and cover with the lemon juice. Muddle gently until the lemon juice turns a nice dark pink. (Don't go too crazy with this: there is no need to smoosh the blueberries all up, just get the juice out.) Add all the other ingredients, and ice, shake shake shake and then double strain (you'll definitely want to double strain this one, to get out all those floating blueberry bits) into a glass befitting the loveliness of this lovely drink.

Okay, it's more than pretty good. It's really really good. Every time I make this drink I remember again how obsessed I am with it. Jonathan, my erstwhile drinking buddy and taste tester, had one and even said it was better than a plain aviation. And that's high praise, because the aviation is a damn good drink.

In this one, the violette is a bit more forward (which is appropriate, considering the name), but the flavors still blend together quite beautifully. It's my platonic ideal of a cocktail: lots of interesting flavors come together to make something smooth and highly drinkable. The sort of thing where you could take a sip and be like, ooh, violette! ooh, gin!, &c &c, or you could just plunk yourself on the couch and I dunno, watch game of thrones and sip one of these puppies and drink yourself into a happy stupor. Hunting down the violette may prove to be a bit of a chore, but it's worth it, I promise you. It's worth it.


  1. The way you write makes me almost actually want to go out and procure all these things to make one. ...almost.

  2. This drink will DEFINITELY be on the menu at the next BBQ.

  3. I enjoyed your experience and description. i am not a bartender but when i go to a bar i ask the bartender for a drink off the menu. It always taste good.