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Wolfie’s Carousel Bar’s Fleur de France: floored by the floral flavor

Violas float delicately on the drink’s surface

Wolfie's Fleur de France
Wolfie's Fleur de France
Tina Heschke

“It’s beautiful, it’s purple, and it’s probably the one you’ve seen the most of all over Instagram,” anticipates Tina Heschke when I arrive seeking the specialite de la maison. She’s describing the Fleur de France cocktail at Wolfie’s Carousel Bar. “It’s the one that people come in for, for sure.”

Place

Wolfie's Carousel Bar

2401 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego

Using an atomizer, she spritzes the interior of an antique-ish coupe glass with rose water before straining a violet-tinted liquid into it. “It’s going to have a very floral flavor profile. It has a little bit of rose water in there, along with some pamplemousse, which is going to be a grapefruit liqueur, and crème de violette, vodka,” and, for a balancing bit of acidity, “a little bit of lemon juice. It’s light, it’s refreshing, and like I said, it has a very floral tone to it.”

Speaking of floral: violas float delicately on the drink’s surface, an edible garnish to complete the cocktail. The name, she says, “basically means ‘flower of France’ — it looks like a flower, and it kind of tastes like one, so it definitely lives up to its name!” The cocktail itself is an original creation, though much of Wolfie’s inspiration comes from the famous Carousel Bar in New Orleans.

“Personally, I’ve never tasted anything like this,” she replies when I ask about its unique flavor. “When you think of something floral, you think of perfume, like, ‘It’s gonna taste like my grandmother’s perfume smells’ — but it’s not that at all. It has this really nice, light flavor to it. And the floralness is more on the nose, when you smell it. But it doesn’t taste like you’re drinking soap.”

She offers a helpful distinction: “Lavender is what most people think of when they think of a floral drink… Violet’s going to be a little more muted than that. And there’s a little bit of a berry undertone, but not a ton.” And the adjective “light” here means that “it’s going to be very easy drinking, and it doesn’t taste super spirit-forward. So, if you like vodka and you like drinks on the sweeter side, then this would be a nice something to try that’s not so sweet, but a little adventure, if you will.”

Finally, I ask about the Carousel Bar’s revolving floor. Though Heschke considers the slow-moving, 14-minute long rotation very tame, she acknowledges the situational humor it presents. “As [the bartenders are] making drinks, their guests are moving — because the bartenders inside are not moving, only the outside,” she explains. “But the guests get a kick out of it, because it’s fun.”

With a smirk, she adds, “When people get off of it after a few drinks, we joke with them and say, ‘The floor isn’t moving, you are.’”

Wolfie's Carousel Bar
  • Wolfie’s Carousel Bar’s
  • Fleur de France
  • .75 oz. lemon juice
  • .5 oz. pamplemousse liqueur
  • .25 oz. crème de violette
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • Spritz of rose water
  • Micro flowers for garnish
  • Combine all ingredients except rose water and flowers in a shaker tin, add ice and shake for 10 seconds. Double strain into a coupe glass that has been spritzed once with the rose water. Add edible flower garnish.
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Wolfie's Fleur de France
Wolfie's Fleur de France
Tina Heschke

“It’s beautiful, it’s purple, and it’s probably the one you’ve seen the most of all over Instagram,” anticipates Tina Heschke when I arrive seeking the specialite de la maison. She’s describing the Fleur de France cocktail at Wolfie’s Carousel Bar. “It’s the one that people come in for, for sure.”

Place

Wolfie's Carousel Bar

2401 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego

Using an atomizer, she spritzes the interior of an antique-ish coupe glass with rose water before straining a violet-tinted liquid into it. “It’s going to have a very floral flavor profile. It has a little bit of rose water in there, along with some pamplemousse, which is going to be a grapefruit liqueur, and crème de violette, vodka,” and, for a balancing bit of acidity, “a little bit of lemon juice. It’s light, it’s refreshing, and like I said, it has a very floral tone to it.”

Speaking of floral: violas float delicately on the drink’s surface, an edible garnish to complete the cocktail. The name, she says, “basically means ‘flower of France’ — it looks like a flower, and it kind of tastes like one, so it definitely lives up to its name!” The cocktail itself is an original creation, though much of Wolfie’s inspiration comes from the famous Carousel Bar in New Orleans.

“Personally, I’ve never tasted anything like this,” she replies when I ask about its unique flavor. “When you think of something floral, you think of perfume, like, ‘It’s gonna taste like my grandmother’s perfume smells’ — but it’s not that at all. It has this really nice, light flavor to it. And the floralness is more on the nose, when you smell it. But it doesn’t taste like you’re drinking soap.”

She offers a helpful distinction: “Lavender is what most people think of when they think of a floral drink… Violet’s going to be a little more muted than that. And there’s a little bit of a berry undertone, but not a ton.” And the adjective “light” here means that “it’s going to be very easy drinking, and it doesn’t taste super spirit-forward. So, if you like vodka and you like drinks on the sweeter side, then this would be a nice something to try that’s not so sweet, but a little adventure, if you will.”

Finally, I ask about the Carousel Bar’s revolving floor. Though Heschke considers the slow-moving, 14-minute long rotation very tame, she acknowledges the situational humor it presents. “As [the bartenders are] making drinks, their guests are moving — because the bartenders inside are not moving, only the outside,” she explains. “But the guests get a kick out of it, because it’s fun.”

With a smirk, she adds, “When people get off of it after a few drinks, we joke with them and say, ‘The floor isn’t moving, you are.’”

Wolfie's Carousel Bar
  • Wolfie’s Carousel Bar’s
  • Fleur de France
  • .75 oz. lemon juice
  • .5 oz. pamplemousse liqueur
  • .25 oz. crème de violette
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • Spritz of rose water
  • Micro flowers for garnish
  • Combine all ingredients except rose water and flowers in a shaker tin, add ice and shake for 10 seconds. Double strain into a coupe glass that has been spritzed once with the rose water. Add edible flower garnish.
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