Viola Cocktail Recipe

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Viola Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Viola cocktail is a modern creation that plays with the idea of layering to create not only a visually appealing drink but also one that allows the drinker to experience the evolution of flavors. It's particularly popular among those who appreciate a floral note in their beverages, and it's often ordered by those who have a penchant for bourbon but are looking for something a little different.

  • Originates from contemporary cocktail culture.
  • Designed for visual appeal and a layered tasting experience.
  • Appeals to bourbon enthusiasts and lovers of floral cocktails.

How Viola Tastes?

The Viola cocktail is a symphony of flavors, starting with the sweet and floral violet syrup at the base, followed by the zesty and slightly tangy lemon bitters, and topped with the rich, smooth, and slightly smoky notes of bourbon. It's a complex drink that balances sweetness with the warmth of the bourbon.

Interesting facts about Viola

  • The Viola cocktail's name is derived from the violet syrup, which gives the drink its signature floral note and color.
  • The layering technique used in the Viola not only creates a beautiful presentation but also allows for a gradual change in taste as the drink is consumed.
  • This cocktail is often associated with springtime due to its floral elements and refreshing taste.


  • Bourbon: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Lemon bitters: a dash
  • Violet syrup: 0.5 oz(15ml)


The heart of the Viola, bourbon brings a robust and smooth base with a hint of sweetness. Using just 0.5 oz keeps the cocktail light and doesn't overpower the delicate violet syrup. Skip it, and you'll miss the soul of the cocktail—like a band without a drummer. No bourbon? Try rye for a spicier kick or a mild Scotch to maintain the spirit-forward nature.

Alex Green

Lemon Bitters

A dash of lemon bitters adds a citrusy tang that cuts through the sweetness, bringing balance and complexity. Think of it as the cocktail's spark—without it, you'd have a flat performance. Too much, though, and it's like a guitarist soloing over the whole song—overwhelming.

Emma Rose

Violet Syrup

This gives the Viola its signature, with a flowery fragrance and a hint of sweetness. The precise 0.5 oz makes sure it's not too cloying. Without it, you've missed the entire point of the Viola—it's like skipping the chorus in your favorite song. If violet's not your vibe, try rose syrup for a floral change or elderflower for a different sweet note.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Viola Drink

  1. Pour 0.5 oz of violet syrup into a shot glass.
  2. Add a dash of lemon bitters directly onto the syrup.
  3. Carefully float 0.5 oz of bourbon on top to create a distinct layer.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Pro Tips

  • When floating the bourbon, pour it over the back of a spoon to ensure it spreads evenly and maintains the layers.
  • Chill the ingredients beforehand to enhance the refreshing quality of the drink.
  • Serve immediately after layering to preserve the visual effect and flavor separation.

Perfect Pairings

Cheese & Charcuterie

Pair this floral yet sharp cocktail with mild cheeses like Brie or Camembert to complement the violet's subtle sweetness. Prosciutto or mild soppressata will cut through the sweetness and match the bourbon's boldness.


Pair with lemon tarts or lavender-infused shortbread to enhance the cocktail's floral and citrus notes. Dark chocolate, with its rich bitterness, would be a delightful contrast to the Viola's sweetness.

Light Appetizers

Smoked salmon canapés or arugula salads with goat cheese and a light vinaigrette would balance the cocktail's complexity without overpowering its delicate flavors.

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What you could change in Viola

  • Bourbon: Can be substituted with another type of whiskey if bourbon is not available.
  • Violet Syrup: If you can't find violet syrup, a lavender syrup can provide a similar floral quality.
  • Lemon Bitters: Orange bitters can be used as a substitute, though the flavor profile will change slightly.

Explore all drinks starting with V here

And of course - twists🍹

Viola Royale

  • Substitute bourbon with Champagne
  • Use 0.75 oz violet syrup
  • Add a splash of lemon juice

Gently mix violet syrup and lemon juice in a flute. Top with chilled Champagne. The Royale incarnation is a bubbly affair that waltzes with the elegance of a ballroom dance. It’s a toast to celebrations, perfect for when the night calls for something with a little more sparkle.

Viola Margarita

  • Substitute bourbon with tequila
  • Use 0.5 oz Triple Sec
  • Rim the glass with sugar and a touch of violet petal powder

Shake tequila, Triple Sec, violet syrup, and bitters with ice. Strain into the rimmed glass. The Margarita twist brings a tequila sunrise to a violet sunset, mingling Mexican spirit with French allure for an international love affair in a glass.

Violet Old Fashioned

  • Increase bourbon to 2 oz
  • Add a teaspoon of simple syrup
  • Garnish with an orange twist and a violet petal

Stir bourbon with violet syrup, simple syrup, bitters, and ice. Strain over a large ice cube in an Old Fashioned glass. The classic gets reimagined with a poetic touch—strong, whispering of forgotten love letters, and as timeless as an old melody replayed on a summer’s eve.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Viola

What type of glass is ideal for serving a Viola cocktail?

A Viola cocktail is best served in a clear shot glass to showcase its distinct layers.

Can I prepare a Viola cocktail in advance?

It's not recommended to prepare a Viola cocktail in advance as the layers may mix and lose their distinct visual and taste characteristics.

Is the Viola cocktail suitable for vegans?

Yes, the Viola cocktail is suitable for vegans as it contains no animal products.

Are there non-alcoholic versions of the Viola cocktail?

You can create a non-alcoholic version by substituting the bourbon with a non-alcoholic spirit or a bourbon-flavored syrup.

How can I achieve the perfect layering for the Viola cocktail?

Pour each ingredient slowly and use the back of a spoon to gently add the next layer on top without mixing them.

What is the significance of the name 'Viola' for the cocktail?

The Viola cocktail is named after the violet syrup ingredient which provides a distinctive floral flavor and color reminiscent of Viola flowers.

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