Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Parfait Amour & Lemon Juice

If you read the Violet Champagne D'Amour post from a while back, you probably finished reading the entry wondering when you'd see Parfait Amour again.  You were not alone.  I wondered the same thing. 

Parfait Amour was not consumed at the frat parties I attended, nor at the post-college bars I frequented, nor at anyone's home when friends gathered together to hang out.  Parfait Amour just does not appear on our collective shelves.

Why is that? 

I see random liqueurs on all of my friends' bookshelves: a litany of schnapps flavors, a random creme de menthe, a bottle of After Shock.  Among this random mix of alcohols, I've never seen Parfait Amour.

I'll grant you that most people are not making mixed drinks beyond the whiskey/coke, gin/tonic, vodka/soda variety.  And whatever liqueurs your friends may have on their shelves are probably all nearly as full today as the day they were purchased.  But Parfait Amour does seem to be noticeably absent. 

In any event, here's what Parfait Amour is: "A sweet, violet liqueur made from and tasting of spanish oranges, vanilla, rose and almond."  Cite.  Also, "[the g]eneric [name] for once-popular 19th century liqueur of spices, vanilla, orange, and flowers."  Cite.

The name, and flavor evokes sensuality, but let's not get too carried away down that line of thought.  Parfait Amour is not the Barry White of alcohol, nor the Viagra of alcohol, but it's a hell of a lot closer to those things than say, Montezuma tequlia:

P.S. I just shuddered at the thought of Montezuma tequila.  Even in college, my friends and I should have known better.

Parfait Amour tastes of sweetened violets, even if you've never consumed them, and oranges in the same way that certain wheat beers might taste of oranges.  In other words, it's subtle. Yes there are hints of vanilla, and I suppose almonds as well, but you'll have to search for them.

Its texture is velvety, smooth, and chalky (yes, I realize chalky is not an adjective one would love to read before diving into a bottle purchase, but I mean chalky in the best sense of the word).  The liqueur is inexpensive for the most part, with bottles costing anywhere between $15-25 for around 750ml. 

I looked around, high and low, for recipes containing the liqueur, and kept coming back to the following recommendation:  Parfair Amour should be consumed on its own, or with a small splash of lemon juice.

So here's what I did. 

1 1/2 oz Parfait Amour
Splash of lemon juice

Pour over rocks, stir.

Done.  Easy peasy.  And it's a nice, sweet cocktail.  Imagine the velvety texture, the smooth flavor of the sweetened violet, and then imagine that you turned the house lights up just a touch with the lemon juice.  The lemon juice brings out some dormant vibrancy, and adds a pleasant kick to the laid back Parfait Amour.

And while this is by no means the only way to consume Parfait Amour, it is an entirely suitable aperitif, in the event you find yourself with 3/4s of a bottle lying around after having made the Violet Champagne D'Amour

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, and in honor of the day, we'll be making Micheladas, the classic beer-based cocktail.  Until then, cheers!


Anonymous said...

the reason for the lack of parfait is probably the difficulty with which it is found, at least in indiana...no liquor store stocks it in the state, or at least around indianapolis because it keeps getting dropped from distibutors. we stock it at the restaurant i work at, and believe me it can be a nightmare to keep in stock sometimes.

The Amateur Mixologist on July 7, 2010 at 9:22 AM said...

Appreciate the comment - love hearing the perspective from the restaurant-set. No doubt it is an obscure bottling.

I've found Parfait Amour it at Kahn's on Keystone, as well as the Payless off of West Carmel Drive in Carmel, though they are both a couple of the larger stores in the Indianapolis area.

Anonymous said...

i have a bottle of the VOK brand right here and it says to mix with30ml vodka, 15ml parfait and 15ml kirsch

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