Yale drinks

Jan Ivarsson janivars at BAHNHOF.SE
Wed Nov 15 17:38:06 UTC 2000


"Crème Yvette" is possible if it is a brand name, like e.g. "Cherry Heering". 
I found "crème Yvette" in Time-Life Books Foods of the World, Recipes: Wines and Spirits, 1969, but
I found this on the Violet Forum: "The Charles Jacquin company used to make a violet liqueur called Crème d'Yvette but to my dismay stopped making it 25 years ago!"
If the "de" should be there, I insist on "Crème d'Yvette". Any elementary French grammar will tell you that elision of a final -e before vowel always occurs in the monosyllabics "le, je, me, te, se, ce, de, ne, que....". Example: "n'oubliez pas d'y aller".
There may be a subtle pun involved in the name: "Ivette" is an odorous flower, like the "violette", though I do not think that it was actually used for flavoring. But the name sounds familiar and logical to a French-speaking person who knows the Crème de violette very well.
The Liqueur Flavoring Reference Table gives Crème de Yvette as a registered trade mark, though I doubt this a little: on the line before is mentioned "Creme de Voilets" when obviously "Violette" is meant
That Americans often misspell French words and especially tend to either leave the accents out or write e.g. "créme" for "crème" is nothing new, and usually the people writing books on cooking or drinks are not linguists. But I think that when it comes to spelling, it is always preferable to keep as close to the original language as reasonably possible. Otherwise, you may run into things like the Latvian spellings "V. Sekspirs" or "Bernards Sovs", to take a couple of famous writers.
By the way, at least Crème de violette can still be bought in France. And it does not taste like Parfait Amour.
And thanks for the Swedish recipe address!

Jan Ivarsson, Sweden

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
To: <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Sent: den 15 november 2000 07:38
Subject: Re: Yale drinks


> >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 --
> 
> http://www.bartleby.com/87/0026.html
> 
> -- 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
> this!]
> 
> One Swedish Web site permits substitution of "Parfait Amour" (in a "Union
> Jack"; Yale drinks may be different):
> 
> http://d1o958.telia.com/~u40504408/ginrecept/recept592.htm
> 
> (^_^)
> 
> Is the OED silent again?
> 
> -- Doug Wilson

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