Purple Reign

A historic cocktail component resurrected

If it's a classic cocktail you're after, all the arm garters in the world won't make up for proper ingredients. Those looking to concoct an authentic Pousse Café have been out of luck, as one of its essential components, Crème Yvette, hasn't been available for 40 years.

That's just changed: At the behest of mixology legends like Dale DeGroff, the folks at Cooper Spirits (who were also behind St-Germain) have revived the purple-hued liqueur, an amalgamation of macerated raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cassis and dried violet petals, augmented with honey and orange peel.

Despite its French airs, Crème Yvette originated in Connecticut more than a century ago, and at one point powered cocktails that allegedly rivaled martinis and Manhattans in popularity.

Although the thick liqueur is ideal for "layered" cocktails like the aforementioned Poussé Café, it's just as delicious in less-complicated drinks, such as the citrusy Aviation and the Stratosphere (Crème Yvette topped with Champagne), a riff on the classic Kir Royale.

Bartenders like to mix it with gin: The alcohol keeps Yvette's fruitiness in check, while the gin's botanicals complement its floral notes. The balance is particularly well-heeled in the Submarine Kiss, in which the Yvette is blanketed by a frothy gin fizz (click here to download recipe).

For now, Yvette's return has been limited to stores in New York and California, but luckily it's available online.