Amethyst is, of course, a violet-colored variety of quartz. What most people don’t know, though, is that the ancient Greeks believed that it could be used to prevent intoxication. In a superstitious attempt to ward off drunkeness (or at least to maintain a public image of sobriety), they would often adorn their wine glasses with the gem.
In a literary homage to this tradition, French Poet Remy Belleau (1528-1577) invented a modern Greek myth in his poem “L’Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d’Amethyste” (Amethyst, or the Loves of Bacchus and Amethyste). It follows Bacchus, the god of intoxication (a true friend of Bevvy), as he pursues the maiden Amethyste, a young lady set on refusing all of his godly advances. Amethyste prays to the gods for assistance and is rewarded by Diana, who changes the girl into a white stone. Bacchus, humbled by this dedication to purity, pours wine over the stone, forever changing it’s color to the gorgeous purple hues seen today.
The deep, clear violet of the Amethyst Cocktail is meant to recreate the crystalline translucence of the stone for which it’s named. However, its effectiveness when it comes to maintaining sobriety and chastity are debatable.
The Amethyst Cocktail
3 oz Belvedere Vodka
1 ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur
⅗ oz Crème de Violette
½ oz Dubonnet
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice and stir until chilled, about thirty seconds. Strain into a large Martini glass.