Last Updated on April 30, 2021 by Fiona Maclean
How to make a classic Aviation cocktail
My first introduction to an Aviation cocktail was at a party held in a Soho bar a few years ago. I was swept away by the allure of an elegant martini glass filled with a very pretty violet coloured, intoxicating gin-based tipple. The taste rapidly took me back to childhood and my love for those dinky little Parma Violet sweets, but this time it was a little more grown-up, made with a heady combination of gin, Crème de Violette, and Maraschino liqueur.
The Aviation is a classic gin cocktail that dates back to the early 1900s, appearing in Huge Enslinn’s book “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” in 1916 while he was tending bar at New York City’s Hotel Wallick. However, this classic cocktail became somewhat forgotten for decades to come, mainly due to the fact that one of its main ingredients Crème de Violette disappeared from the American market altogether in the 1960s. In fact, it was not until 2007 in Minneapolis when importer Haus Alpenz began importing Rothman & Winter crème de violette from Austria right at the height of the craft cocktail renaissance, that American bartenders rediscovered the Aviation cocktail, and it made its way back to bar menus across the United States.
This unique cocktail is a bit like marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it. Fortunately, I am a lover and was only too delighted to try my hand at making one at home and it’s really very simple as long as you have all the right ingredients. I am a real gin bunny, and I do think you need an excellent bottle of gin, I can recommend Aviation Gin which is a distinguished gin from Portland, Oregon. You will also need the key ingredients – Crème de Violette which is made from parma violet petals and also features blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, orange peel, honey, and vanilla, it gives it a delightful floral bouquet and a notable purple colour. The Maraschino liqueur adds a touch of bittersweet cherries and I add a dash of fresh lemon juice to take the edge of the floral notes and add a bit of acidity. We at London Unattached love trying out new cocktails and this one is definitely worth a go.
The Aviation cocktail is perfect for a spring or summer evening, but be warned, it may be pretty but it’s got a real punch to it! I used Aviation Gin, Edmond Briottet Crème de Violette and Giffard Maraschino liqueur. I think it works best in a martini glass.
- 50 ml Gin I used Aviation Gin
- 10 ml Crème de Violette liqueur
- 15 ml Maraschino liqueur
- 15 ml Lemon juice
Chill your cocktail glass.
Add all the ingredients together into a shaker,
Shake until nicely chilled.
Strain into a martini glass or coupe.
Garnish with a slice of lemon or a candied cherry.
Looking for something different? Check our roundup of Gin cocktails and click through for any of the recipes
Aviation gin is available online from Masters of Malt, Amazon and other leading spirits suppliers