The Aviation is not a new cocktail. This gin-based classic was invented in the early 20th century by a bartender named Hugo Ensslin but in the past decade or two, it’s become somewhat trendy. Why? Probably because it calls for crème de violette, which is a type of liqueur flavored with violet flowers. Unsurprisingly, crème de violette does indeed taste like flowers, and it lends this drink an attractive purple/blue color. Just don’t go overboard with the stuff. Use too much, and your drink will taste like soap.
Makes 1 Aviation
- Coupe, Martini glass, or Nick & Nora
- 2 ounces gin
- .25 ounce maraschino
- .25 ounce simple syrup
- .5 teaspoon creme de violette
- .5 ounce lemon juice
Step One: Lemon Juice
We don’t want to turn this drink into lemonade, use a touch of lemon juice for zip and acidity. Juice your lemon, then put .5 ounce lemon juice into your cocktail shaker.
Step Two: Maraschino
If you’re unfamiliar, maraschino is a type of liqueur flavored with Marasca cherries (famously grown in Croatia). It’s intensely sweet and highly flavorful so you don’t need much. Add .25 ounce maraschino to your cocktail shaker.
Step Three: Simple Syrup
If you’re thinking, “Hey, an Aviation doesn’t usually call for simple syrup,” then you’re absolutely correct. But, as we mentioned, maraschino is intensely flavorful, so we prefer to dial that back and replace some of its sweetness with simple syrup (equal parts white sugar and water). Put .25 ounce simple syrup into your cocktail shaker.
Step Four: Creme De Violette
Ah, crème de violette. It’s dark purple, smells kind of like fancy hand soap, and can add an interesting floral flavor to any drink when used sparingly. And we mean sparingly. Find your measuring spoons, and add .5 teaspoon crème de violette to your cocktail shaker.
Step Five: Gin
Finally, add your gin. Pour two ounces directly into your cocktail shaker.
Step Six: Shake
Put a small handful of ice in your shaker (about 5 cubes), then shake for around 20 seconds. Strain the cocktail into your glassware and garnish with a cherry (or three). How does your Aviation look? It should be a pale, cloudy blueish color with just a hint of purple, and should taste like an interesting combination of flowers, cherries, and gin. Enjoy.