Aviation

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Cocktail History

The Aviation is a classic cocktail that was created by Hugo Ensslin in the early 1900s while he was the head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York City, New York. It’s most well-known for its color and a special ingredient that was impossible to find for close to half a century before it was just reintroduced back in 2007—crème de violette. The recipe pairs this floral liqueur with botanical gin, maraschino cherry liqueur, and tart lemon.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Gin: This is a type of gin made with juniper berries, botanicals, and alcohol. We used Citadelle Gin because it has simple and crisp juniper flavor with notes of violet root, angelica, lemon peel, and baking spices. For a mocktail version of this drink, try MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin in place of the gin.

Maraschino Liqueur: This is a liqueur made with Maraschino cherries, honey, herbs, spices, sugar, and alcohol. We used Luxardo Maraschino Orginale Liqueur because it has a distinct earthy aroma and sweet cherry flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Trader Vic’s Premium Maraschino Cherry Syrup in place of the cherry liqueur.

Lemon Juice: This is the liquid juice of a lemon. We used freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Crème De Violette: This is a liqueur made with violets, sugar, and alcohol. We used Rothman & Winter Crème De Violette Liqueur because it’s made with a brandy base and no added vanilla or other fruit flavors, making it a true violet liqueur. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Violet Syrup in place of the violet liqueur.

Cherry: This is a fruit that has been soaked in brandy and rich syrup. We used Luxardo Maraschino Cherries because they’re high quality and delicious.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Boston Shaker: This is used to shake ingredients. We used the Boston shaker from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Hawthorne Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is shaken. We used the A Bar Above Hawthorne Strainer.

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Juicer: This is used to juice citrus. We used the ALEEHAI Manual Fruit Juicer.

Cocktail Pick: This is used to hold the garnish. We used one from the I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Pick Set.

Tasting Notes

The Aviation features light floral aromas, the initial taste of gin balanced by the maraschino and violet liqueurs, and a tart but botanical finish.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: This drink is wildly popular, among those with less developed palates especially, for a reason. It is quite good! It was a little sweet for Alex although he certainly appreciated its complexity, but Kendall found the Aviation to be delicious, and it has since become one of her favorite gin drinks.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Art of Vintage Cocktails by Stephanie Rosenbaum.

The Art of Vintage Cocktails
The Art of Vintage Cocktails
Hardcover Book; Rosenbaum, Stephanie (Author); English (Publication Language); 108 Pages – 01/07/2014 (Publication Date) – Egg & Dart (Publisher)
$21.75

AuthorThe Art of Vintage Cocktails

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Gin
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Maraschino Liqueur
 ¼ oz Crème De Violette
 1 Cherry

Method
1

Add gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, crème de violette, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with cherry.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ½ oz Gin
 ¾ oz Lemon Juice
 ½ oz Maraschino Liqueur
 ¼ oz Crème De Violette
 1 Cherry

Directions

Method
1

Add gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, crème de violette, and cubed ice to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-20 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

4

Garnish with cherry.

Aviation

Make It a Mocktail: Use MONDAY Zero Alcohol Gin in place of the gin, Trader Vic’s Premium Maraschino Cherry Syrup in place of the cherry liqueur, and Monin Premium Violet Syrup in place of the violet liqueur to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

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Godinger Champagne Glasses, Champagne Glass Set, Coupes Barware Glasses - Set of 4, 6oz., Dublin Crystal Collection
Godinger Champagne Glasses, Champagne Glass Set, Coupes Barware Glasses – Set of 4, 6oz., Dublin Crystal Collection
Lead Free Crystal. Set of 4; Capacity 6oz. Dimensions 4.25 x 5 x 2.5. Dishwasher Safe
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Champagne Glasses - Flute - Saucer - Belle Coupe - Set of 6 Glasses - Glass Crystal - Glass has Tattoo Design -9 oz. - by Barski - Made in Europe
Champagne Glasses – Flute – Saucer – Belle Coupe – Set of 6 Glasses – Glass Crystal – Glass has Tattoo Design -9 oz. – by Barski – Made in Europe
Superb lead free crystal for outstanding clarity; Set of 6 in pretty box; 5.3″ H x 3.8″ D; Dishwasher safe for added convenience
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HISTORY COMPANY Chez Paree 1933 Chicago Cocktail Coupe Glass 2-Piece Set (Nightclub Gift Box Collection)
HISTORY COMPANY Chez Paree 1933 Chicago Cocktail Coupe Glass 2-Piece Set (Nightclub Gift Box Collection)
Sophisticated travelers considered an evening at Chez Paree a must when in the Windy City
I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
I-MART Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks Martini Picks Set (Pack of 15)
Measure: 4.25″; Material: stainless steel 304, color: silver; Reusable martini olive skewers, stainless steel olive stuffer.
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More Gin Cocktails

If you like this gin-based cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Trellis Gin & Tonic Cocktail Recipe

Trellis Gin & Tonic: An ombré gin cocktail made with cucumber and rose pink tonic water, lime juice, and a rolled cucumber

Lemon Thyme Gin & Tonic Cocktail Recipe

Lemon Thyme Gin & Tonic: A lemon gin cocktail made with lemon juice, thyme syrup, Indian tonic water, and a lemon wedge

Gin Rickey Cocktail Recipe

Gin Rickey: A gin cocktail made with lime juice, club soda, and a lime wheel

Florodora Cocktail Recipe

Florodora: A gin cocktail made with lime juice, raspberry syrup, simple syrup, ginger ale, a lime slice, and raspberries

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-02-26.

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