Spring flowers are blooming and that can only mean one thing: it’s officially gin season.
Roses are wafting their allure to the city, the violets are carpeting the tree’s roots with purple smiles, and the dandelions are finding their way to the cracks in the sidewalk, slowly taking back the streets. Now is the time to utilize the short window of delicious spring flowers for a classic gin cocktail, The Aviation.
The Aviation is aptly named for its purplish blue hue, which is derived from the lovely violet flower—a true spring ephemeral. In 1930, the Creme de Violette was dropped from the original recipe published 2 decades prior, and did not see a proper resurgence until 2007 when the liqueur was brought back to the US Market.
Creme Yvette was a popular replacement ingredient in the cocktail, which, in addition to violet flowers, includes berries. Today on the farm we made a violet syrup that can be used in place of Creme de Violette in your Aviation cocktail.
My recipe here includes Viola tricolor, a species of violet that blooms longer than the more traditional Viola odorata, and brings a deeper color to the syrup. I prefer to follow the traditional “folk method” when making elixirs: an unmeasured, intuitive method, that is guided by taste and creativity. Just like how your Grandmother does it. Take the recipe below as a guideline, and experiment with variations to suit your sipping style.
How to Make Violet Syrup
– 1 cup tepid water
– 1/2 cup raw honey
– A handful of viola tricolor flowers (50-100 flowers)
Combine water and honey together and add viola tricolor flowers. Mix with a spoon until honey is dissolved and let steep for 1 hour.
Berries Option: For this syrup, we gathered a handful of ripe strawberries and muddled them in to the syrup as well, then poured the syrup through a fine mesh strainer to take out the residual fruit flesh. You could also send the fruit through a juicer, and then add to the syrup.
with DIY Violet Syrup
– 2 parts Gin (we recommend Barr Hill Gin)
– 1 part lemon juice
– ¼ part Violet Syrup
– ¼ part Maraschino Liqueur
Shake all ingredients & serve up with a Viola flower garnish.
If you don’t have Viola tricolor growing in your backyard, you can purchase from the Parcel Cocktail Farm located at 219 Pearl Street on the South Side of Providence on Sundays from 1-5pm (excluding holidays). www.ParcelApothecary.com
Jessyloo Rodrigues (Herbaloo)