The Aviation Cocktail

19/08/2011 § 4 Comments

One of my favorite drinks is the Aviation, a classic, pre-prohibition era, gin-based cocktail.  I’d say it is a perfect summer cocktail, owing to its sky blue color and crisp tartness…but I enjoy the hell out of it the other three seasons of the year as well.  To make the Aviation, you’ll need:

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce of crème de violette
  • 2 dashes of maraschino liqueur

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake well and then strain into a cocktail glass.  Some bartenders will garnish the drink with a twist or a cherry, but I prefer mine without.

The crème de violette, a violet flower based-liqueur, will be the ingredient hardest to find.  It’s not exactly rare, but it did take me a few tries to find a shop in Manhattan that had it.  Also, make sure you’re purchasing actual crème de violette.  Rothman’s is the standard.  There are other “violet” liqueurs, like Parfait d’Amour, but they have an entirely different taste.  (Sidenote: There is some debate about the inclusion of Crème de Violette, as the recipe that appeared in the first edition of the Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) mistakenly omitted it, and decades of bartenders have poured the drink without it.  I prefer mine pre-prohibition style.)

I use Brooklyn Gin for my Aviations, due to its smoothness and how its citrus notes compliment the liqueurs, but also because the gents behind the tiny distillery are personal friends.  The handsome bottle also pretties up a bar quite nicely, no?  Look for Brooklyn Gin at select bars and liquor stores around New York.

Brooklyn Gin: Website // Facebook // Twitter

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