Yale drinks

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Wed Nov 15 06:38:42 UTC 2000

>Actually, it is "Crème d'Yvette".

Not as far as I can tell. There are various spellings on the Web, most of
them wrong (obviously).

I looked it up in some bartending books. The majority spelling was "creme
Yvette", followed by "creme de Yvette".

I tried to buy it. The specialty liquor stores in my area don't have it,
haven't had it recently, and cannot order it. I phoned the Pennsylvania
Liquor Control Board; they don't list it as one of the products which is
made in or imported into Pennsylvania. They claim that their list includes
all products of Jacquin (apparently headquartered in Pennsylvania) -- and
there's nothing named "Yvette".

No crème de violette, either. One book claimed that Marie Brizard's
"Parfait Amour" liqueur is comparable, but its Web description doesn't
support this.

I went to the big library. I found ONE authoritative listing, in the big
Webster's Third (score another one for the home team): the listing is
"creme yvette" (that's right, no capitals), and the dictionary says it's
from a trademark "Créme Yvette" (that's right, acute accent -- I don't know
whether it's a typographical error).

I was unable to find a picture of the label. Perhaps B. A. Popik can find one.

The US Patent and Trademark Office Web database shows no such registered
trademark, alive or dead. A trademark (TM) need not be registered, of course.

The designation "Yvette" seems to be old: a 1918 cookbook --


-- shows a recipe for violet-flavored ice cream employing "Yvette cordial".

This appears to be an American liqueur: a Web search using French search
engines added nothing.

I guess "creme yvette" (capitalization [and diacritical mark] probably
somewhat optional) seems to be correct. Doesn't matter much, since the
referent apparently is unavailable. I guess our Yale martinis will require
imports from France ... or maybe we can just use a little violet extract
(and perhaps some vanilla extract and sugar to taste) plus some purple food
coloring? One Web entry permits the use of blue curaçao instead of violet
liqueur ... would that be cheating? [I assume the recipe is designed to
present Yale's "blue" color, rather than implying an association of Yale
with violets per se (blushing or otherwise)? Any Yalies, please help me on

One Swedish Web site permits substitution of "Parfait Amour" (in a "Union
Jack"; Yale drinks may be different):



Is the OED silent again?

-- Doug Wilson

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