Alcoholic beverages and nostalgic sweets have always had a rather experimental relationship ever since the early days of unusual mixing. But, for a specific audience, a certain sweet comes to mind. And, when swirled with the perfect liquer, can often leave a punchy note that can make a collective Swizzels lover swoon. This, of course, is all about parma violets and all of their gorgeous glory.
Let's take a look at some of the best alcoholic concoctions across the UK that mix both alcohol with our beloved sweet. Hopefully, from reading this little segment, you can take away something new and scribble in your next go-to drink on the shopping list.
Here are the top nine alcoholic parma violet drinks. Drink up!
#9 MANCHESTER DRINKS CO. Parma Violet Gin
Approx. Cost: £7.99 - 500ml
This is one of the least expensive Gin liqueurs that I have purchased so I honestly wasn't sure what to expect. But, for the price I was pleasantly surprised.
As expected from a scented liqueur the taste is fairly sweet. And, this isn't the strongest of drinks alcohol-wise if you're into Gin, either. The flavour of parma violets is definitley there but I was a little disappointed by the sugary taste of this as opposed to the perfumey undertones of actual parma violet sweets.
Would I recommend it? If Gin is your go to drink then I don't think this is the drink for you. But, if you're after a cheap alcholic drink that tastes good and goes well with lemonade then yes – give it a try!
#8 UNICORN SHIMMER Parma Violet Syrup
Approx. Cost: £6.50 - 50ml
I wasn't sure whether to include this as it's not actually alcoholic but a drinks syrup which can be poured into the drink of your choice. For this comparison I chose Gin, as a lot of the other drinks that I am reviewing here are either Gins or Gin liqueurs.
The colour of this when added to a drink is beautiful. It is a shimmering silver-purple that looks as what I can only describe as a violet galaxy. This was immediately a win for me and had me sold. The taste was not as strong as it could have been so I found myself pouring a good amount more than the bottle suggested into my drink to acquire a decent parma violet flavour. That being said, it tasted good and was certainly recognisable in the taste of parma violet sweets.
I would recommend this drinks syrup if you like your drinks to look 'appealing' and it definitely makes for a good Instagram photo! If you want something that you can use for more than 2 or 3 drinks before running out then I'd suggest just opting for a pre-mixed parma violet flavoured beverage.
#7 TW KEMPTON Parma Violet Gin
Approx. Cost: £12.00 - 500ml
This is another Gin liqueur so again it is fairly sweet, however I was slightly more impressed by this drink than the Manchester Drinks Co. Gin liqueur (two above).
The reason being that this Gin liqueur has a higher alcohol content of 20% which definitly reflects in the taste and gives you the typical 'Gin' aftertaste which I happen to enjoy. The taste of this drink is similar to parma violets but it also has flavours similar to Swizzels Lovehearts or Fizzers, which was what let it down a bit for me; not being a fan of those sweets in particular. That being said, nothing is to say you wouldn't get a kick out of the punchy sizzle.
I would recommend this drink if you are again after something inexpensive and good tasting, but maybe not if you are after something true to the Parma violet flavour.
#6 SIDEKICK Violet Vodka Liqeuer
Approx. Cost: £4.99 - 500ml
This was the first non-Gin based drink that I had tried, other than the drinks syrup above. I was slightly dubious of this as I'm sure, like myself, you spent many teenage years convincing your parents to pick you up a bottle of 'sour apple Sidekick' which tasted pretty much like household bleach. However, when I came across this in a local shop, I had to buy it. And for less than £5 – I was pretty happy.
When I gathered the courage to try this drink with some lemonade as a mixer, I was not unhappy with it. The taste of cheap vodka was there if ever so slightly but it didn't overpower the drink and I found myself able to enjoy it and reminisce about the good and bad times drinking the original flavours of Sidekick.
The alcohol percentage of this drink is on the low side at 14.5 percent so it isn't something to drink if getting drunk is your aim, or if you're used to more 'upmarket' alcoholic drinks. But, if you're like me and you just want to snatch up any parma violet flavoured product then it's good – and also very affordable!
#5 WHITLEY NEILL Parma Violet Gin
Approx. Cost: £22.99 - 700ml
This is the first Gin that isn't a liqueur based drink on this list, which I think is why I gave it a higher rating!
I enjoyed the fact that you could taste that this was Gin as well as having a not too sweet and authentic taste of parma violet sweets. I think it would be enjoyable to even those who aren't avid parma violet fans, too.
The alcohol percentage of this drink more than doubles some of the others in this list at 43 percent. This obviously means that you do not have to add nearly as much to each drink that you pour with a mixer, and, in turn, lasts longer.
The price of this drink is obviously more expensive, but for the size of the bottle it is not unaffordable and it is something that can be imagined being consumed in an upmarket cocktail bar rather than at home in your pyjamas (or both).
#4 JJ WHITLEY Violet Gin
Approx. Cost: £15.00 - 700ml
This drink is another Gin and it highly reminds me of the 'Whitley Neill' Gin as seen above.
The colour of this Gin was the lightest of all that I had tried, and, when poured, came out almost clear, which was disappointing at first but after trying the Gin I was won over by the taste.
The flavour of parma violets is there and again is not too sweet. The Gin itself tastes good and I feel like I could drink this a bit faster than the Whitley Neill Gin due to it being less expensive to buy another bottle! This is why it won the higher vote for me.
I would reccomend this Gin if, again, you enjoy a good Gin and want the taste of something more expensive, that you can afford more than one bottle of at a time!
#3 BROTHERS Parma Violet Cider
Approx. Cost: £1.15 p/unit - 330ml
I was very excited to get my hands on this parma violet cider as it's something that I hadn't seen before. After a couple of weeks of it being constantly sold out I managed to grab a few bottles.
I was very impressed with this drink because of both the price of them and also the taste. I'm not a huge cider fan but these did not leave a bad aftertaste at all and the flavour was very close to that of parma violet sweets.
The bottles themselves are smaller than usual Brothers Cider bottles that you can purchase in bars and pubs and were sold individually. I have, however, seen since that the parma violet flavour Brothers cider is available to buy in packs of six which saves a bit of money also.
I would recommend these drinks if you enjoy things like Kopparberg fruit ciders or similar fruit flavoured drinks. One thing's for sure – these are certainly a go to alcoholic beverage for me now!
#2 SWEET LITTLE Magic Sweet Violet Gin
Approx. Cost: £21.99 - 500ml
This drink, I was actually bought as a gift for my birthday, so I'm not entirely sure if it can be purchased anywhere other than an exclusive branch in Evesham, UK. Saying that, I managed to find it online for around £21-£25. So – you might just be in luck after all!
I was pleased to receive this Gin Liqueur as a gift as the bottle it comes in is heart shaped and very pretty. The Gin itself is quite a dark purple and even when mixed with lemonade or tonic, is still a fairly dark swirl.
This is again a liqueur, so the taste isn't too strong or Gin-like but the flavour is very nice and not a lot is needed in each drink to give you a parma violet flavour.
One thing that disappointed me was that the bottle wasn't too big and it was easy to get through fairly quickly, especially if, like me, you were drinking it on your birthday.
The bottle is pretty enough to keep and use for something else and the drink itself tastes good and doesn't leave an overly sweet aftertaste. Again though, I'd have to say that if you are a regular Gin drinker, this doesn't taste much like Gin itself so you may be left wanting more.
#1 ZYMURGORIUM GIN CO. Sweet Violet Liqueur
Approx. Cost: £19.99 - 500ml
Here it is: my most highly rated parma violet drink.
This is a Gin liqueur which seems to be the most common form of parma violet tasting alcohol about.
I may be a bit biased as this was actually the first parma violet flavoured drink that I tried and I was blown away with how it tasted.
I first tried this whilst on an evening out with a friend and it was served to me with lemonade and strawberries. I am not a huge fan of regular Gin but this truly does taste incredible. This, for me, was the most authentic in terms of coming close to tasting like actual parma violets.
The colour of this drink is a fairly light purple which definitely reminds me of the parma violet packaging and the smell is also very nostalgic.
Because of the smell and the exquisite taste of this drink, it was, and is my favourite still. I haven't seen it being sold in many shops near me but it is available to buy online which I'm overjoyed to see.