A Blue Moon is pretty much the same as the Aviation (page 58 of the book) except the latter calls for maraschino liqueur and the former uses Creme Yvette or creme de violette. I could not strictly list the Blue Moon as a forgotten but revivable cocktail in the first edition because creme de violette was all but impossible for American consumers to find, and Creme Yvette, a Victorian proprietary liqueur, was thirty years dead. Both were compounded from violet petals, and Yvette (which was named for early twentieth-century French actress Yvette Gilbert) had other secret flavorings.
How times have changed for the better! Thanks to Eric Seed of Haus Alpens, we have a faithful new representation of creme de violette. Thanks to Rob Cooper, son of Norton Cooper who presides over Charles Jacquin et Cie, the company that has long owned the formula and rights to Creme Yvette, it too has been revived. It's my fault. I was pushy...but they had foresight.
Shake in an iced cocktail shaker, and strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.
One earlier recipe with the same name contained rye and Benedictine...no relation. The earliest version, though, was obviously in the same family. Hugo Ensslin's Recipes for Mixed Drinks in 1917 called a Blue Moon gin, Creme Yvette, dry vermouth instead oflemon juice, and the addition of orange bitters. Not bad, I must say. The beloved iteration I present first appeared in a quirky little book titled Crosby Gaige's Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion (1941). To complicate matters, one progenitor appears to be a variation of an earlier drink called a Blue Train, which essentially adds Creme Yvette to a White Lady. The Blue Train's earliest incarnation in the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) just uses blue food coloring instead of the Yvette. I'm sorry, that is just cheating, but I digress. The Blue Moon has a delicate lace of light, semisweet floral flavor that dances with the snappy gin and the fresh, tart lemon. It is incomparable; you'll see. Adding an egg white and an additive lemon twist doesn't hurt it one bit either.
This page created October 2009
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