Review: The Bitter Truth Apricot and Violet Liqueurs

The mad Germans at The Bitter Truth continue their march into odd liqueurs, this time with two new distillates: An apricot liqueur and a violet liqueur. Both are 44 proof.

The Bitter Truth Apricot Liqueur is based on a traditional German tipple, brought into the ’10s for a modern audience. The nose is intensely apricot, in keeping with the dark amber color. On the tongue, lots of sweet apricot jam character, a sort of earthier version of a peach, about as authentic as it gets. That said, apricot is kind of a funky flavor that really needs to be in a cocktail — as evidenced by so many classic cocktails that use apricot brandy in them — in order to fully appreciate its charms. B+

The Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur is an homage to creme de violette, the long-dead and now-revived liqueur that is essential (in tiny quantities) to a handful of classic cocktail recipes (such as the one below). The spot-on violet-colored (artificial, I’m sad to say) is perfect, deep purple in the center and fading to blue at the edges. The nose is perfumy and floral, but the body is surprisingly mild and easy. A bit of blueberry fruit, light sweetness (much more so than the Apricot), and a pleasant finish. This one’s actually palatable on its own — though the nose is a bit too hefty — and, again, perfect in a cocktail. A-

$27 each / the-bitter-truth.com

The Aviation Cocktail
2 oz. gin
1/4 oz. violet liqueur
1/4 oz. Maraschino liqueur
1/4 oz. lemon juice

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.


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3 Responses to Review: The Bitter Truth Apricot and Violet Liqueurs

  1. Thanks for the review of the Bitter Truth violet liqueur. How does it compare to the Rothman & Winter version? I drink and serve a lot of aviations so I’m definitely curious how this one might affect the flavor (and the color, for that matter) and if it’s enough of a difference to justify adding it to my bar.

  2. Dave: The Bitter Truth version is a bit more floral, the R&W a bit fruitier. Bitter Truth is also a bit more blue in color, the R&W a touch more toward violet. Very very similar on the whole.

  3. Hopefully it’s more readily available than the other violet liqueurs. Maybe I can finally mix an aviation. Seems like one of those drinks you go through a lot of effort to create, and then are a bit disappointed by the underwhelming results.

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