Another from Charles Baker’s The Gentlemen’s Companion (1939), the Mood Indigo was named, presumably, after Duke Ellington’s 1930 hit song of the same name. That Baker discovered the drink (in Nice, France) in 1932 certainly strengthens the connection. And it’s a fitting name, as the drink is a very unusual dusky color, thanks once again to Parfait Amour. In fact the recipe calls for either Parfait Amour or Creme de Violette (or Creme Yvette) – we’ve gone over the differences before, but in a nutshell, they are both violet-flavored (and -colored) liqueurs, the former with a curaçao base, the latter with a brandy base. Or something like that.
1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. cognac
1/2 oz. Parfait Amour or Creme de Violette
(Baker also suggests a teaspoon of egg white, but…eh.)
Stir with ice, and garnish with a violet flower if you’ve got one available. I didn’t.
Half an ounce is a rather hefty amount of Parfait Amour, although in this case it’s not too much. But it does provide the main flavoring for the cocktail, an orangey-violety-perfumy sort of a taste, with the gin and cognac working behind the scenes to give what tastes like a soft, polite little drink a pretty nifty kick. It’s not a fantastic drink, but it’s quite good, and if you can track down a bottle of Parfait Amour (which shouldn’t be too hard), this would be a good choice next time you’re entertaining, because unless your guests are solid cocktailians, they won’t likely have had something like this. Four livers.