Blue Moon Cocktail Recipe

A colorful, floral gin cocktail can be a welcome change of pace at the brunch table.

A blue moon cocktail served in a martini glass.

Serious Eats / Heather Arndt Anderson

Why This Recipe Works

  • Floral and sweet crème de violette pairs well with piney, juniper-scented gin.

To the delight of classy lushes everywhere, old-fashioned liqueurs are experiencing a comeback. Case in point: crème de violette. I've been a fan of floral liqueurs for some time; I make my own elderflower liqueur and lavendercello every summer; I've had plans to make my own crème de violette, but for the relative scarcity of good, fragrant violets around these parts. Luckily, after a decades-long absence, crème de violette is back on the market.

Rothman & Winter's crème de violette is created from a careful maceration of Austrian Queen Charlotte and March violets steeped in Weinbrand ("The great brandy from the Rhine"), with cane sugar added for sweetness.

The sweetly floral aroma of crème de violette is an obvious pairing to the boreal forest notes of good gin. This cocktail is based on Hugo Ensslin's 1916 Aviation recipe, merely omitting the maraschino liqueur. An early recipe for the drink appears in David Embury's 1948 classic, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.

Crème Yvette, which pairs violets with vanilla, was the original choice for this drink, but when crème Yvette disappeared about a hundred years ago, crème de violette stepped in as a replacement. Now both are available, and either one makes a splendid cocktail to pair with delicate blueberry-lemon blintzes, say. Just forget modern Blue Moon recipes that call for insipid blue curaçao—vintage violet-based liqueurs are the only way to go.

October 2011

Recipe Details

Blue Moon Cocktail Recipe

Total 5 mins
Serves 1 serving

A colorful, floral gin cocktail can be a welcome change of pace at the brunch table.


  • Ice

  • 2 ounces high-quality gin

  • 1/2 ounce Creme de Violette

  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Garnish: lemon twist


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add gin, crème de violette, and lemon juice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

Special Equipment

Cocktail shaker, strainer

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
303 Calories
0g Fat
26g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 303
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 23g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 14mg 68%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 32mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)