There are violets growing all over my yard right now. Seeing them reminded me of the candied violets my mother and father brought back from the trip they took to Paris when I was five. (Interestingly, my mom won this trip in a Meryl Streep look-alike contest…true story. They look eerily much alike.)
Back to the point: Violets. More specifically, candied violets.
I was a bit bored on Friday, and my kiddo threatened mutiny if I didn’t let her watch Yo Gabba Gabba. And, candying violets seemed like a delightful way to entertain myself whilst Esmé stared at the TV in that nerdy way she does. So, I collected a bunch of violets…to candy.
Once I had the violets on hand I realized that not only did I not know what I was going to use the candied violets for, I actually didn’t know how to candy them.
Thank god for the interwebs, right? After exploring a bit, I found instructions on Use Real Butter. I even read the instructions most of the way through. But then I got distracted by another violet recipe she has on there: violet syrup.
…And my brain did that thing it seems to do all the time lately. I thought Hmm, can I put that in a yummy cocktail?
The short answer is, yes. Yes, you can put that in a yummy cocktail. And, if you choose your cocktails right, you might even be able to use that pretty candied violet in there too!
So, I went for it on both recipes. I won’t walk you through the steps, because Use Real Butter has that covered for you. But, here are a few of the highlights: My candied violets were far less sugared than those in Use Real Butter. I’d like to claim that I had the foresight to keep them light so that they could float on top of a lovely cocktail foam…but honestly it was because I (1) didn’t follow the instructions well all the way to the end and (2) I didn’t have exactly the right tools so I just made it all up as I went along (e.g. I didn’t use a paintbrush and I blizted regular sugar in the Cuisinart since I didn’t have superfine sugar). I’m kind of naughty that way…
Overall the drink was good. I was happy to drink it…but it certainly didn’t blow my mind.
It is hard to see in the photo, but the combination of the blue syrup and the lemon produced a lovely blush tone to the drink.
The next night I thought I’d get a bit more fancy with it. Since I had those lovely candied violets I also wanted to try mixing something with a foam so that I could float a violet on top. I thought the intense sweetness of the syrup would lend itself well to a sour. So I mixed one…
Violet Sour Recipe (makes 1 coupe):
2 oz gin (I’m still using The Botanist, these days)
1 oz lemon
3/4 oz violet syrup
1/2 oz egg whites
1 candied violet
Place your glasses in the freezer to chill. Dry shake all the ingredients at room temperature (for more info on dry shaking and mixing drinks with foams see post on Lavender Lemon Gin Fizz) in order to produce the foam–I find you can feel the texture change as you shake. Once it feels foamy, open the shaker. If the foam looks good, add a few cubes of ice. Shake again to cool off the ingredients. Strain the mixture into the chilled coupe…be patient at the end, it takes some time for the foam to slide out.
Gently place the lightly candied violet on top.