“I’d give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died.” -Ophelia, Hamlet



So get this: The Ancient Romans actually made this beverage where they immersed violet blossoms in wine. Naturally, I had to try it.

The finished product is quirky. As the mixture ages, the color leaches out of the violets, leaving them looking sort of like wispy ghost-flowers.

The flavor, when all is said and done, is… quirky. It was described by our tasters as a combination of vegetal, green, and like a cheap rose with floral overtones. A smidge of wildflower honey compliments the hint of violets quite nicely. Really, though, the big appeal is in the appearance and uniqueness. 

Were I to try it again (which I probably will), I’d pick off the green parts, and mix in the honey from the beginning.

Why it should be in the Next Book:

Doesn’t it just sound like something from a GRRM book? I mean, come on.


It’s got all the inherent threat of sinister syllables, and the exotic flair of being made with flowers. It’s a recipe from Ancient Rome, a culture fabulously known for their decadent fare. I imagine it being served across the Narrow Sea, where they have other exotic fare such as persimmon wine and honeyed locusts.

Get the recipe on the brew blog, Game of Brews.

5 thoughts on “Violatium”

  1. JennL777 says:

    “Doesn’t it just sound like something from a GRRM book? I mean, come on. Violatium.”

    Seriously, if the Man With The Endless Plan is NOT consulting you two regarding the comestibles of Westeros, he’s missing a golden opportunity.

  2. Sandy Fox says:

    2 months sounds way too long to keep the petals in the wine. Most recipes I know for extracting flavour from plants; such as sloe/damson gin, herb vinegars or garlic oil stipulate that the flavouring items are removed after a few days or a couple of weeks. Repeat loads if fresh items may be used to strengthen the flavour – not leaving the same stuff in longer. I would guess that this is even more critical for delicate flavours such as flower petals than it is for woody herbs like Rosemary.

    1. Needs Mead says:

      I suspect you are probably correct. I had been waiting to find more violets to add in as a second batch, but never tracked any down. Maybe next summer!

  3. Joe says:

    You’re right about cutting off the green parts. All the old recipes for preserved flowers are quite clear on that point, including the white parts just above them. As far as steeping time, the general rule for herbal medicines is three weeks in the booze. After that you can start to get things out of the lanta you don’t want, but that’s at much higher plant content than you’ve got here. I’d just leave them on until I got around to taking them out. You can leave things to macerate for months in the culinary sphere. Violets have a short season, hence the various preservation techniques. You could maybe try freezing them this year.

  4. newfanned says:

    I have some Creme de Violette Liqueur. I don’t use it often though, because when you mix it with almost anything it turns it sort of a dead gray color. So it might be perfect for something like this. I’ll get it out and take another look at it. :)

Leave a Reply


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: