The trick to a good Aviation is a light hand with the crème de violette — achieve this subtle balance, and you’ll convert any gin-naysayers by the shaken glassful.
2 ½ oz. Luxardo London Dry Gin
2 tsp. Luxardo Maraschino Originale Liqueur
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
1 bar spoon crème de violette
Luxardo Maraschino Cherries for garnish
Combine all ingredients except garnish in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.
Shake well, then double-strain into a chilled coupe.
Garnish with Luxardo cherry.
Year of Origin
This Pre-Prohibition gin cocktail is a delicate balance of strong flavors.
or decades, if you ordered an Aviation at
a bar, you’d receive a sour, lemony cocktail
of no particularly interesting hue. But in the
21st century, the Aviation’s lost original recipe was rediscovered, and the drink was reinstated as a light purple icon of the Pre-Prohibition era. The Aviation first appeared in print in Hugo R. Ensslin’s 1917 Recipes for Mixed Drinks, and in this original recipe Ensslin includes crème de violette, a violet herbal liqueur. To many, the cocktail’s appeal lay in the rarity of its ingredients — Maraschino liqueur and crème de violette were difficult to find in America, and were therefore the mark of an uncommonly well stocked bar. This rarity became the cocktail’s downfall, for by the mid-century, crème de violette was nowhere to be found, and the original Aviation recipe was soon forgotten.
Skip ahead to 2004, when the original recipe resurfaced, and thanks to the clamoring of eager mixologists, an importer finally made crème de violette available in the states. Today, the drink polarizes fans who insist on keeping or holding the crème de violette. Go ahead and try the cocktail with the violette for a sip of the 1917 classic, or without for the 1930s version — we think it’s an excellent use of gin and Maraschino either way.
Looking for more? Shake (or stir) one of these up: