Aviation

Written By Alexandra Vaughn 

aviation cocktail

A delicately floral, beautifully balanced, crisp and refreshing cocktail, the Aviation is as attractive as it is delicious! So grab a bottle of gin, some maraschino liqueur and créme de violette and let's make this delightful, sky purple hued classic cocktail. 

Aviation

Ingredients

2 oz gin

3/4 oz lemon juice

1/4 oz crème de violette

1/4 oz maraschino liqueur

garnish: brandied cherry

Method

Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and double strain into martini glass. 

GLASS: COUPE

History

This early twentieth century creation, technically a gin sour,* was brought to us by the Hotel Wallick’s head bartender Hugo Ensslin in New York. The first printed recipe appears in Ensslin’s 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks. The original recipe was 1.5 oz. El Bart gin, .75 oz. lemon juice, 2 dashes maraschino liqueur, and 2 dashes crème de violette. The light floral flavor combined with soft citrus and sweet Maraschino coats the mouth with elegance and sophistication.

As with most cocktails, there are many tales of origin. Another popular one is that is was invented at Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Manhattan, NYC by Oscar Tschirky, better known as "Oscar of the Waldorf". Funny enough he's also credited for the creation of the Waldorf salad and Eggs Benedict even though he was never a chef. He simply used his reputation as maître d'hotel for credibility and also authored a cocktail book! 

Creme de Violette

There are a ton of different recipes for this cocktail and many of them omit the violette liqueur because it was so scarce. In the 1960s it disappears from the U.S. market altogether. It takes nearly 50 years before Rothman & Winter teames with Haus Alpine in 2007 to revive, bottle and import the delicious violette liqueur. Now there are a few brands who produce the pretty purple cordial like The Bitter Truth and Gifford.

* A sour is a category of cocktails containing a spirit(s) with citrus and sweetener. In this case, the maraschino would be the sweetener.


Pro Tip:

If you are playing with the non crème de violette version, you might want to add a touch of simple syrup to avoid the cocktail being overly citrusy.

Variations

The Blue Moon Cocktail omits the maraschino liqueur and The Moonlight cocktail uses gin, lime, orange liqueur and crème de violette.

Featured on the back of the Crème Yvette bottle circa 1940, the Blue Moon Cocktail (aka Blue Devil Cocktail) omits the maraschino liqueur. Crème Yvette and crème de violette are used interchangeably in this cocktail with Yvette lending a more pale pink drink and violette yielding a pale, purple-grey cocktail. 

Some recipes use egg white, some do not. We love the texture and "fluff" egg white brings to a cocktail so if you haven't tried adding it, you definitely should! (Unless egg whites freak you out, then you definitely shouldn't.) 

Another adaptation is the Moonlight Cocktail which introduces Cointreau and substitutes lemon for lime juice. 

Blue Moon Cocktail

Ingredients

2 oz gin

1/2 oz crème de violette

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

garnish: lemon twist

Method

Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and double strain into martini glass. 

GLASS: COUPE

>