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The Violet Hold-or the Lavender Scare

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

With its enigmatic color- (is it violet or is it grey?) and subtle layers of flavor, the Violet Hold

(or Scare) is as mysterious as a bauhaus double exposure. A strong cocktail masquerading as a demure one, it's the perfect pairing for the posts Queer bauhaus:Hiding in Plain Sight and Ladies' Choice. The unusual combination of smokey and sweet create a delicious and thoroughly modern cocktail that defies categorization.

This cocktail is doubly appropriate during Pride month, when we remember the "Lavender Scare". During the 1950's the US government persecuted and discriminated against its gay and lesbian employees, claiming they were security risks. In addition to mass firings, it encouraged rampant homophobia, referring to it as the "homosexual menace". This behaviour legitimized and normalized the persecution of LGBTQ people in the workplace, which is still being dismantled today. The Lavender Scare, which accompanied the "Red Scare" was yet another creation brought to you by the notorious Senator Joseph McCarthy and his evil troll doll Roy Cohn.

You can find the post on LGBTQ history at the bauhaus, which inspired this cocktail here

The Violet Hold

2.5 oz. of tequila

.5 oz. of Mezcal

.75 oz. lemon juice .75 oz. of Creme de Violette

This drink can be served up in a coupe or over the rocks in an old fashioned glass. Mix the tequila, lemon juice and Creme de Violette in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Either pour into a chilled coupe or an old fashioned glass and top it with the Mezcal. (I love a smokey float.) Garnish with either a lemon twist or a spring of fresh thyme or sage to compliment the smokey flavors.

Curious about Creme de Violette? You've come to the right place.

Creme de Violette is in fact made of crushed violets. It has a subtle and unusual flavor. If you've ever tasted candied violets, it tastes just like them, but in liquid form. In addition to being sweet and floral, there is a subtle chalky undertone. According to Ted Haigh ( Dr. Cocktail) author of Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, Creme de Violette was a Victorian era liquor, which has only recently been revived, thanks, in no small part, to people like him. Haus Alpens, which produced spirits manufactured from Alpine flowers is the brand we've selected for this cocktail.

©The Modernists' Guide to Cocktails


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