Cocktails - Absinthe and other vintage ingredients - Creme Yvette?

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Thru December 2001: Cocktails - Absinthe and other vintage ingredients - Creme Yvette?
By Tavarua on Friday, October 12, 2001 - 09:51 am: Edit

Mojido Annie

This is too good. Take about a handful of mint leaves and throw them in a moderate sized glass. Then, the most important part, mash the leaves in the bottom of the glass for a good 20-30 seconds. This is key, you really have to crush the oil out of the leaf. Then add a shot of Bacardi Limon, and a shot of absinthe. Top it off with a splash of sprite, and 1-2 teaspoons of sugar. This is great if you have some Herring or LaSala sitting in the back of the cabinet.

By Geoffk on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 08:39 pm: Edit

I thought the Japanese only drink the powdered variety, and I assumed they'd only buy the most exquisite quality (like with fish or beef they only buy the best of the best).

You can always get the "best of the best" here, but it's always expensive, and most people can't afford it every day. For example, Kobe beef is great, but I can't afford $200 steaks all the time, so I'm more likely to order a 50 cent McDonalds hamburger instead. Plain green tea here is so cheap that machines in cafeterias dispense it along with hot water. And regular Japanese food is often very simple and nothing special.

The powdered Matcha tea is just for the tea ceremony. The regular tea that people use is probably no better than what you can get where you are, although there are a lot of varieties here with subtle differences. I brought some green teabags with me from the US when I came, and the Japanese teabags that I compared them too were pretty close in quality.

Unlike absinthe, which is a complex product with a lot of ingredients and different manufaturing methods, green tea is pretty much green tea. It's very simple, so it's hard to mess up.

-- Geoff K.

By Bob_Chong on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 07:44 pm: Edit


An ounce is closer to 28 grams.


By Heiko on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 11:53 am: Edit

OK, there's only one variety in the local tea store that is that expensive - and it is indeed the powdered leaves for the Japanese tea ceremony.
I guess it's the most exquisite stuff they could get.
Other varieties are much cheaper (from 3 to 15 Euro per 100 grams).
btw, an ounce is around 38 grams, right?

I thought the Japanese only drink the powdered variety, and I assumed they'd only buy the most exquisite quality (like with fish or beef they only buy the best of the best).

I'm pretty sure what is sold as "Sencha" here isn't sold for human consumption in Japan while what I can buy as "Sencha Superiour" is just standard...

By Wolfgang on Thursday, September 20, 2001 - 07:55 am: Edit

40 E per oz !!! You must be kidding! We have a small "salon de thé here in Montreal where we can buy fine tea from around the world and the most expensive (a first quality Indian Darjeling, I dont recal the exact name but it`s mindblowing good ) doesn`t cost half of that price.

By Geoffk on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 10:36 pm: Edit

I've never had green tea and Chartreuse. I'll have to try that--it sounds neat. Do you use the green or the yellow one?

The Green Tea liqueur (and for that matter, the Sakura and Violet liqueuer) is very sweet, so it has a candy-like quality. Here in Japan, Green tea ("Matcha") is a popular flavor for ice cream, water ice, pudding and all kinds of sweet desserts. It's often combined with milk (as in ice cream). My guess is that this liqueuer would be used in a way similar to Kalua (i.e. with vodka, milk and vodka, or as a flavoring/dessert ingredient).

Of course, real green tea has many varieties, some of which are very expensive. There is a bright green powder (very bitter) used for the tea ceremony called "Matcha". This is mixed directly with water (like Turkish coffee) and not used for everyday drinking. The highest grade of regular tea leaves is called "gyokuro". It's a little fresher tasting than the usual kind. Ordinary (still good) green tea is called "sencha" or just "ocha". If you drink it in a sushi restaurant it's called "agari" for historical reasons (it's the same as sencha). Excellent unsweetened green tea is also sold in cans and bottles, hot or iced, as an everyday soft drink. It can be mixed with sochu, but that's unusual. Normally people use oolong tea ("oorancha") for that. Mostly it's just drunk straight.

-- Geoff K.

By Heiko on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 09:43 pm: Edit

That green tea liquor reminds me of my favorite Chartreuse drink. I can't drink it neat, but with green tea it tastes great!

For a Japanese this probably sounds like blasphemy, like if you tell a French winemaker that you drink your bordeaux with orange juice ;-)

Well, the green tea I drink would be below Japanese standards anyway, I guess - I just can't afford to buy the 40 Euro per ounce superiour quality all the time.

By Geoffk on Wednesday, September 19, 2001 - 08:36 pm: Edit

I wrote an email to Suntory in Japan asking if they sell Hermes Violet or Absinthe anywhere overseas (i.e. outside Japan). The response was in Japanese, but translates as follows:

"Thanks for drinking Hermes Liqueuers. We're sorry to say that at the present time, Hermes Absinth and Violet are only for sale (marketed) within Japan. We have no plans (are undecided) about future sales plans in Foreign countries.

Thanks very much etc."

Also, on the English web pages, the only liqueuer mentioned is Midori melon liqueuer (which they do sell overseas, for some reason).

In addition to the violet and absinthe, two other Hermes flavors are somewhat interesting. They sell a "Sakura" (Japanese cherry blossom) liqueuer and a Green Tea liqueuer. These are rather interesting, so it's a shame that they aren't exported.

-- Geoff K.

By Missthing on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 06:53 pm: Edit

Oh, bpth.

Did you ask if they could make any enquiries to Japan headquarters? If the stuff is being manufactured and sold, and there is any kind of market anywhere, you'd hope they'd maybe want to export the stuff if demand is shown...

By Frater_Carfax on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 06:42 pm: Edit


Suntory in Australia appeared to be totally ignorant of the Violet liqueur. I get the impression they are running a minimal operation out here, concentrating only on the big items like Midori.

By Verawench on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 09:49 am: Edit

Ditto, actually, the stuff sounds mighty tasty.

And Head, welcome back.

By Head_Prosthesis on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 09:30 am: Edit

I'd like to add...

Me too.

By Missthing on Sunday, September 16, 2001 - 07:23 am: Edit

Sorry to not have been able to respond to this post earlier, I've been totally knocked out with pneumonia for a couple weeks.

Very exciting to see that Violet liqueur is available in Japan, would love to hear of any success you may have, Frater_Carfax, in tracking it down in Oz.

By Artemis on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 04:27 pm: Edit

It was many years ago that I consumed Japanese Violet on Okinawa, and I can still taste it. I remember it fondly. But then I like Violets ....

By Frater_Carfax on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 04:15 pm: Edit


I have recently discovered that Suntory have their national distribution office for Oz quite close to where I live....might be worth dropping in and see what they can provide....I am really curious about the Hermes Violet....could this be the start of a new forum?

By Petermarc on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 06:04 am: Edit

amusingly enough, violette liquor seems to be a popular ingredient in specialty drinks at the restaurant 'asian' in paris...

By Head_Prosthesis on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 03:17 am: Edit

Excellent. But licking my monitor just isn't the same as sucking down a glass full. Looks like I'll be saving up for a trip to Japan.

Thanks for the info, G.


By Geoffk on Tuesday, September 04, 2001 - 01:31 am: Edit

Here's a url with a picture of the Hermes Violet. This place actually sells it on line for 1420 Yen for 720 ml (about $12), but I don't think they ship outside of Japan

-- Geoff K.

By Geoffk on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 08:58 pm: Edit

Oops, I forgot to post that last one. Here goes again...

Suntory does make and sell a violet liqueur in Japan under the Hermes brand name, which they use for most of their liqeuers. If you look in the "Substitutes" section of the buyer's guide, you can see a bottle of Hermes "absinthe" pastis. The violet liqueur bottle looks identical. Like their "absinthe", the violet liqueur is not at all popular, but I think I've seen it in very large liqueur shops.

I didn't see anything about it on Suntory's web site, but I didn't see anything about their "absinthe" either, and I know that's a real product too. It probably isn't sold or shipped outside of Japan.

Good luck finding a bottle!
-- Geoff K.

By Geoffk on Sunday, September 02, 2001 - 08:50 pm: Edit

Oh, and Don is 100% right about Midori. It means "bright green" or is a girl's name. Suprisingly, the Japanese word for honeydew melon (or canteloupe) is "melon" (although it's pronounced and spelled "meron").

-- Geoff K.

By Lordhobgoblin on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 06:21 am: Edit

The term "first name" is easier than "personal name" or "female proper name" (which I've never heard used).

Anyway the purpose of language is to communicate and be understood so it's better to use an established term such as "Christian name" (even if it is deemed 'politically incorrect' by some) that people understand rather than an obscure term that results in confusion.

By Petermarc on Saturday, September 01, 2001 - 05:05 am: Edit

i went to the 'paradis latin' cabaret (my wife got an invitation) the interior was done by eiffel
but has since been mucked up with bad light fixtures...the dance show was amusing(kitch o-plenty) especially the 'saint john the baptist' number (i kid you not) when the can-can started, all i could think of was what a cool place to get you all together and drink absinthe...maybe arrange a number with the music 'you can-can' from the moulin rouge movie...anyone interested?
a little expensive to privatize the place, but it's possible...the real moulin rouge is just toooo expensive now...

By Missthing on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 11:29 pm: Edit

Well, Don's almost down under too... just 1 hour time difference to me, at least!

That's an interesting conundrum with the "personal" name or "female proper name" - if one wants to avoid using the now rather inappropriate term "Christian name" it does pose a worry of whether you'll be understood!

By Verawench on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 11:23 pm: Edit

Don stayed home too.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 11:19 pm: Edit

Female proper name, I ought to have said.

By Don_Walsh on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 11:15 pm: Edit

Zach, Midori is a rather popular Japanese personal name of the cute variety, there's a Midori who is a concert violinist, a Midori who is an Olympic figure skater, several Midoris who are porn starlets, there's a Fetish Diva Midori (TM) -- she has trademarked her name -- in San Fran who Kallisti and I both know, who is fond of black leather and Japanese rope, and there's a black exotic dancer/porn starlet in the States who purloined the name as well. And the head Domme at my place used to be named Midori.

And yes, it does mean the color green and yes, Suntory uses it as a brand name. It does not mean 'honeydew melon'. Which is what the liqueur tastes like.

By Head_Prosthesis on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 11:12 pm: Edit

Down under eh?

By Missthing on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 11:06 pm: Edit

hee hee.. middle of the day here but I'm sure it will be raining soon (that's my excuse at least).

As far as doing Mr Prosthesis, it would be quite a stretch at this distance!

By Head_Prosthesis on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 10:45 pm: Edit

MT, No and VW, No

The place in philly won't return my calls


I stayed home.

By Verawench on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 10:25 pm: Edit

Am I the only one who stayed home tonight?

Kinda had to.. half the state is drowning yet again. So I'm sitting home, drinking Shiner Bock and listening to Deine Lakaien.

By Verawench on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 10:24 pm: Edit

"I'm afraid I never did Mr Prosthesis!"

Tell that to the Congressional Ethics Committee, Ma'am.

By Missthing on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 10:10 pm: Edit

I'm afraid I never did Mr Prosthesis! The eBay teapot went for way above my budget and it was tiny and half evaporated anyway, and my email to Benoit Serres went unanswered, sadly. Have you come across some perchance?

In the mean time I have to some degree been mollified by Parfait d'Amour, which is pleasantly floral in nature, though there seems to be no particularly good brands available locally, just generic liqueurs.

By Head_Prosthesis on Friday, August 31, 2001 - 04:43 pm: Edit

Missthing, did you ever find the Violet Cordial? I mean get your hands on it.

By Missthing on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 07:45 pm: Edit


By Head_Prosthesis on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 07:29 pm: Edit

Ebay Teapot minature Violet Cordial

By Missthing on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 03:29 am: Edit

Mwahahah - okay, looks like Charles Jacquin may be a dead end... BUT! maybe I have hit the jackpot now.... thankyou Google for your wonderful page-caching fscility!!! I'd already checked this page as one of the first broken links in the searched I did first up...

I'd recommend Liquer de Violette, made by a company called Benoit Serres, named after 5 generations of the Serres family going back to 1841. I had dinner with the main man last February near Toulouse, and learned all sorts of things about his business. He spent several years in England and speaks English very well.

Follow the link below to his web site, or contact him at
Chemin de la Camave, Z.I. Nord
31290 Villefranche de Lauragais
Hte Garonne - FRANCE
Tél. (33) 5 61 27 20 97 - Fax. (33) 5 61 81 97 77
e-mail : contact@benoit-serres

By Missthing on Thursday, July 19, 2001 - 02:58 am: Edit

I looked up some books in my Uni library and found a reference that it used to be made in Connecticut but that's all!

Thanks so much for that information, Head Prosthesis, I'll see if there's any luck with Charles Jacquin.

By Head_Prosthesis on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 11:34 pm: Edit

By Head_Prosthesis on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 11:21 pm: Edit

I also found that Jacquin's in Philidelphia made it but nothing else came up. Other than some obituary on a guy that used to work there.

By Missthing on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 11:18 pm: Edit

Yes, that's exactly the sort of thing I'm after! - now anyone able to translate Korean? :)

By Head_Prosthesis on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 11:09 pm: Edit

By Missthing on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 10:24 pm: Edit

I checked out the Suntory website & searched a little but no leads in that direction,although I did find some references to 1 Suntory liqueur which weren't identified ingredient/taste wise, the name didn't sound particularly violetty.

By Zack on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 05:42 pm: Edit

"I wouldn't be surprised if it was Suntory, since they are a big name in Japanese liquor."

That wouldn't surprise me either. I doubt this is directly related, but Suntory does have a division of its business in flower growing/breeding...sounds interesting anyway.

"If memory serves me correctly, the word "Midori" figured in it somehow, but I think that was specific to the melon liqueur."

Midori is the word for the color green. (as well as the name of the popular melon liquer)

By Wolfgang on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 11:38 am: Edit

Absinthe coffe...hummmm yummy!

I use a quatruple expresso and I put maybe 1/2 OZ of Deva in it.

But I agree with Artemis, the best way to drink absinthe is still the original way : with water.

Another great match I just found is smoked oysters with a glass of Segarra (with only 1/4 sugar cube per OZ of absinthe and diluted 1:4).

By Artemis on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 09:00 am: Edit

If memory serves me correctly, the word "Midori" figured in it somehow, but I think that was specific to the melon liqueur. I wouldn't be surprised if it was Suntory, since they are a big name in Japanese liquor.

There was a bar in Koza City called "The Velvet Hammer" where American GIs could go, get a bowl of Yaki Soba, listen to American music and imagine that the attractive Okinawan girls paid to talk to them and keep them drinking were interested in them. For some reason Violet was a favorite of some of the airmen with Bohemian aspirations, and I remember seeing it in other establishments. That's about all I remember - sorry, it was a long time ago, during the unpleasantness in VietNam.

By Pataphysician on Wednesday, July 18, 2001 - 06:49 am: Edit

Ya know, when I was in college I studied cocktails quite a bit, too. Never got any credit for it though.

By Missthing on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 11:09 pm: Edit

Thankyou all for your comments!

Heiko, I don't like Irish Coffee generally but maybe I would with Absinthe? Worth a try...

Hmmm. Japan is one area I haven't tried to look into... to find a Japanese liqueur exporter... who has a web page in English.... may be a challenge!!

You wouldn't by any chance Artemis remember the name of the brand, a rough equivalent in English even?

By Nostradamus on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 07:20 pm: Edit

Hi, I have a number of fine old
pre30/40s cocktail books that include
absinthe drinks as well as receipes
to make absinthe.

I'm a researcher of 'cocktail history'
moving toward writing a book about the
era. My books are origionals and span
from Havana to New York, London,

I have also studied old world regional
techniques for making Liquors of many

If you have something specific that you
are looking for, e-mail me, I'm sure I
can find the information that you need.

By Artemis on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 02:47 pm: Edit

I don't drink absinthe with anything but water, but I do have some recipes including the Suissese from an old New Orleans book.

A couple of days ago, I tried the Sprite and Lasala combination someone recommended to me here - what a waste of perfectly good Sprite! Sorry, that nasty LaSala flavor comes on just as strong, not masked whatsoever by the Sprite - just sweeter and carbonated. I still couldn't drink it.

When I lived in Japan (Okinawa, actually) Violet liqueur was featured in every classy Japanese bar and a lot of crappy ones as well. It was a Japanese brand as were all the other liqueurs, such as melon; I can't remember the rest of the flavors. That was a long time ago - whether it's still made in Japan, I can't say.

By Heiko on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 01:09 pm: Edit

I don't like recipes that only feature "dashes" of absinthe ;-)

Different brands taste so different you can hardly use them for the same recipes alltogether.

F.e. you can only use Segarra or La Bleue for Death in the Afternoon (= just use champagne instead of water). With all the sweeter brands, this gets sickly sweet (also use dry champagne)

The weirdest recipe I know is Irish Coffee with absinthe instead of whisky - tastes really good, even no one believes it at first. Deva and Serpis are good for that, I guess Segarra might be even better...

By Pataphysician on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 10:52 am: Edit

You can do a search of old posts here, there's been a lot of recipes posted in the past. I've got a few of those old recipe books. They still prominently feature Absinthe as late as the 1920s and 1930s.

The only cocktail I do regularly is a simple martini with a few dashes of Absinthe in it. Yeah, baby! Actually I usually use Pastis for that.

By Missthing on Tuesday, July 17, 2001 - 09:25 am: Edit

I've noticed much of the talk here seeming to center on the pure taste of Absinthe - I'm curious if many of you drink it in cocktails, and if so, which recipes would you recommend? I found a small collection of 1930's vintage cocktail recipes, a couple containing Absinthe (which sent me on my quest..) one of which was a variation of the Suissesse and the other, below:


1/2 shot Benedictine
1/2 shot French Vermouth
3 dashes Absinthe

I'm looking forward to trying this & other concoctions when my shipment arrives ;)

I am also curious about Creme de Yvette, also known as Creme de Violette, a liqueur made from Violet extract - apparently out of production for at least 25 years. This would most certainly not be illegal anywhere but harder to find than Absinthe... I have always loved Violet as a flavouring, it's quite unique and floral. Any leads or information to do with Creme d'Yvette greatly appreciated!

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