In the world of fancy cocktails, there is a fundamental divide between focusing on flavor and focusing on appearance.
Whether it is more important to make an attractive cocktail or a tasty one. While many cocktails do try and straddle this line and provide a bit of compromise for both, most of them are an attempt at compromise.
There is one outlier, though; the Aviation cocktail. A drink that manages to blend together a uniquely beautiful appearance, while still tasting absolutely amazing.
The Guide To The Aviation Cocktail
A recipe over a century old, the Aviation cocktail is a gin cocktail that combines acidity, sweetness, and a splash of purple color to make it tasty and beautiful at the same time.
Created by Hugo Ensslin, a head bartender at an upscale New York hotel in the early years of the 20th century, this drink mixes Gin with lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, and, optionally, a little splash of Crème de Violette.
It is the Crème de Violette that sets this drink apart from any other simple gin drink. A pungent violet liqueur, this addition turns the cocktail from an icy great to a crystal clear bright purple.
However, there is some contention regarding the Aviation cocktail; some people prefer to completely omit the Crème de Violette, claiming that it adds too much sweetness and counteracts the balance of the drink.
If you are having trouble finding some Crème de Violette, consider searching online. It might seem a waste to buy just one bottle, but as long as you keep it sealed in the fridge, it will last you basically forever.
Whatever your preference, here are the simple steps to making your very own Aviation cocktail.
- 2 Ounces Gin
- ½ Ounce Maraschino Liqueur
- ¼ Ounce Crème de Violette
- ¾ Ounce Fresh Lemon juice
To make, mix all your ingredients together into a cold shaker with plenty of ice and shake it for 15 seconds.
Once done, pour into your chosen glass of choice, ideally with a double strain to avoid ice shards, and enjoy.
How To Service Your Aviation Cocktail
The icy and sometimes callous world of cocktail making is incredibly divided as to the right way to serve a cocktail.
Some prefer tall high ball glasses, whereas others prefer the elegant simplicity of an Old Fashioned glass.
For the Aviation cocktail, your best bet is a coup glass. It is small and delicate, yet robust enough to allow you to hold it with one hand. It also is excellent at keeping your drinks nice and cold.
For best presentation, strain your shaker using a double strainer into your glass and top with some traditional cocktail accessories, such as an olive or a slice of orange. Serve and enjoy!
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The Aviation Cocktail Recipe
- Prep Time
- 2 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 2 ounces Gin
- 1/2 ounce Maraschino liqueur
- 1/4 ounce Crème de violette or Crème Yvette
- 3/4 ounce Fresh lemon juice
- Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake.
- Pour into a cocktail glass such as a coupe.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.