Violets, originally uploaded by Il conte di Luna.
There’s an interesting discussion going on in the comments from my post on Monday about the question of privatizing the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Do take a look and chime in with your views.
In the meantime, I want to add an example of what frustrates me about the PLCB: My inability to buy creme de violette in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Creme de violette is a violet-flavored liqueur. It’s an ingredient in various old-fashioned cocktails, where it adds a light flowery element and violet hue.
Or so I’ve read. I’ve never tasted or even seen the stuff.
I’ve asked for it at PA Wine and Spirits stores and no one I’ve spoken with has ever heard of such a thing — nor has anyone offered to help me order any. Of course it’s not listed in the PLCB retail website. It is conceivable that I can special order it, somehow, although I’m wary of the process.
To be fair, creme de violette is not available everywhere. Even famous bartenders brag about having five varieties.
But creme de violette is distributed in the United States, and it seems reasonable that I should be able to buy some. In Boston I could buy it. Or in New York. Or in California, although I guess that’s not too surprising — them hippies are crazy out there.
Is there any reason I shouldn’t be able to order a bottle over the internet, just as I can order a bouquet of actual violets? I can’t think of one. But order it I cannot.
My best options are to drive to New York and smuggle a bottle back (which is illegal — can’t bring bottles into our fair state), or to buy some flowers, pluck off their petals, and marinate them in alcohol to make my own violet liqueur.