What can I use instead of crème de violette? The best substitutes for crème de violette are violet-flavored beverages, like Parfait Amour, Crème Yvette, and violet gin. Try other floral liqueurs like St-Germain, rosolio, or hibiscus liqueur. Alcohol-free substitutes are violet syrup or purple food dye.
Crème de violette is a purple French floral liqueur made by infusing violets and sugar in brandy. This smooth, fruity beverage is low-proof, only 20% AVB.
Crème de violette has undergone a cocktail revival, complementing fruit liqueurs, gin, vermouth, sparkling wine, and citrus. Here are the eight best substitutes for crème de violette.
The Best Crème de Violette Substitutes
The best substitute for crème de violette is Parfait Amour.
Parfait Amour is a French floral liqueur made with violets, roses, citrus, almonds, and spices, often with a curaçao base.
It has an intensely flowery fragrance, a subtle vanilla and cinnamon flavor, and a beautiful purple color.
This liqueur makes an ideal alternative to crème de violette as a neat sipping beverage or a cocktail ingredient because of its similar floral notes and color.
Use Parfait Amour instead of crème de violette in a Violet Fizz, as it pairs well with gin. Make a Moonlight cocktail, where its citrus notes will complement the Cointreau and lime juice.
Replace crème de violette with equal measures of Parfait Amour.
Another pefect substitute for crème de violette is Crème Yvette.
This classic nineteenth-century American-French floral liqueur is also based on violets macerated in a clear spirit. However, it has additional botanical ingredients such as berries, orange peel, honey, and vanilla.
Although the violet flavor is evident, Crème Yvette is more fruit-forward and complex.
Crème Yvette makes a delicious digestif sipped neat and can substitute for crème de violette in cocktails that need a sweet, floral element.
The Submarine Kiss is a twist on the Blue Moon, using Crème Yvette instead of crème de violette. Or make a Stratosphere, where the Crème Yvette mirrors the Kirsch in a Kir Royale.
Use Crème Yvette as a 1:1 substitute for crème de violette, with the proviso that it will add a red rather than a purple tone to your cocktails.
Violet gin makes a tasty replacement for crème de violette.
With the trend for craft gins continuing, violet gin has a bright, floral tone and gorgeous purple shade. Violet gin has a typical botanical flavor that makes it an appealing choice.
Use violet gin as a crème de violette alternative if you want a purple-colored element in a cocktail. However, note that gin is far more potent than crème de violette, usually around 40% AVB.
Violet gin works well in a Blue Moon cocktail, a robust Violet Fizz, or a Blue Martini.
Use violet gin as a crème de violette replacement in cocktails that would include gin already.
For a different floral flavor, St-Germain is an aromatic alternative to crème de violette.
St-Germain is an artisanal French elderflower liqueur made from macerated elderflowers, fruit brandy, sugar, and clear spirits. Each bottle of liqueur is said to contain 1000 elderflower blossoms.
The flavor of St-Germain is exquisitely floral and fruity, with citrus, peach, elderflower, and honeysuckle notes.
The pale-yellow liqueur is naturally colored by pollen, so it won’t give your cocktails a vivid hue like crème de violette.
The delicate flavor of St-Germain has made it a staple ingredient for mixologists, earning it the moniker “bartender’s ketchup.”
Enjoy St-Germain as a crème de violette substitute if you want a sweet, floral element in your drink, rather than specifically violet.
Make a refreshing spritzer with prosecco or a French Gimlet variation. The liqueur pairs well with fruit and citrus flavors.
Replace crème de violette with the same amount of St-Germain.
Try Rosolio as a crème de violette alternative.
Rosolio is a generic term for low-alcohol Italian floral liqueurs. Original versions from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were rose-flavored and considered the beverage of kings.
Like other floral liqueurs, rosolio infuses a neutral base alcohol with flower petals, fruit, and other botanicals.
Each Italian region has a locally made rosolio with characteristic ingredients. For example, rosolio from Campagna is lemon-flavored, juniper rosolio is made in Tuscany, and Piedmontese rosolio is traditionally rose-based.
A popular contemporary rosolio is Italicus, flavored with bergamot oranges, chamomile, citron, lemon balm, and sugar.
Enjoy this crème de violette alternative as an aperitif, in citrus cocktails like the Moonlight, or as a refreshing spritz.
Replace crème de violette directly with rosolio, knowing its flavor and color will differ.
For a tropical alternative to crème de violette, turn to hibiscus liqueur.
Hibiscus flowers are vibrantly colored, showy, and a Mexican delicacy when dried or candied. Hibiscus liqueur uses these gorgeous flowers to create a bright red, berry-forward beverage.
Less sweet than most floral liqueurs, hibiscus liqueur’s citrus notes blend well with sparkling wine, gin, and vodka.
Hibiscus liqueur can’t replace crème de violette directly. Use it if you enjoy floral liqueurs in a daiquiri, margarita, or tiki-style cocktail.
A non-alcoholic alternative to crème de violette is violet-flavored syrup.
Violet syrup is made by macerating violets and floral essential oils in sugar and water. It has an intense violet flavor and color, although high-quality syrups have more subtle hints of rose and lavender.
Use violet syrup instead of crème de violette to add sweet floral notes and purple color to cocktails and mocktails. It’s also handy to flavor desserts and bakes.
Replace crème de violette with a similar amount of violet syrup, taking care not to overwhelm your mix with sweetness.
Purple Food Dye
A final alternative to crème de violette is purple food dye.
Food dyes are artificially created coloring agents used in cooking, baking, and mixology. They have minimal flavor.
Purple food dye can replace crème de violette in mocktails and cocktails if you need violet shading.
Use a few drops of food dye to achieve the required color. However, for best results, you will need to add a liquid and sweetener (e.g., sugar syrup) if you are replacing crème de violette.