Templeton, Iowa was known as a hotspot for rye whiskey…
Creme Yvette is a liqueur that you may never have heard of. It’s a unique liqueur that was produced from around the turn of the century until the late 1960s, when production stopped completely. There were a handful of bottles sitting on the back of bar shelves, but they were rare. With the rise in prohibition cocktails over the past few years, there has been in increased interest in resurrecting some long forgotten spirits and liqueurs, so Rob Cooper, director of the Cooper Spirits Company and creator of St Germain liqueur, decided to resurrect it. He had the original formula to work from, and reworked it to be made with modern raw materials. It is made with violets, blackberries, raspberries, wild strawberries and cassis, and flavored with a spice blend that includes honey, orange peel and vanilla. It’s deep purple color makes it unmistakable.
The liqueur is delicious and complex. You can really pick out many of the components, though they blend quite harmoniously. I am not always a fan of very floral flavors, and was pleased that the violet was subtle and did not dominate the other ingredients. The liqueur has a more substantial mouthfeel than liqueurs like St. Germain because it includes honey, but it won’t coat your mouth and it mixes well with other flavors, though its berry-dominated flavor profile means that it won’t go with everything.
Worth another round? It depends. I like the unique flavor and color of this liqueur, but because it hasn’t been around all that long, there aren’t a tremendous number of cocktail recipes that call for it. You can find some vintage cocktail recipes, like the Blue Moon, that call for it, but many recipes have long since replaced Creme Yvette with some other spirit, like Creme de Violette, so you need to be willing to experiment to make the most of it. So, you might end up with the bottle sitting on your shelf for a long time before you work your way through it. That said, it is irreplaceable in some drinks and it is fun to work with, so if you’re feeling creative, it is a great addition to a bar.