After being lost for almost a half-century, this sky blue concoction was refurbished to its original glory only within the last decade. This original version first appears in Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks, citing a combination of gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette and lemon. The reasons it fell out of favor? A double whammy: first, the recipe bible of the era, the Savoy Cocktail Book, dropped crème de violette from the recipe in the 1930s, leaving a predominately sour mixed drink, then, crème de violette was discontinued altogether in the 1960s. Rothman & Winter recreated the liqueur in 2007, making the original recipe possible again, to the delight of a new generation of bartenders who have since championed this forgotten drink.
- 2 ounces gin
- 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur (preferably Luxardo)
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- 1/4 ounce crème de violette (or 1/4 ounce simple syrup)
Garnish: brandied cherry (preferably Luxardo)
- Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
- Fill shaker with ice and shake until chilled.
- Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a brandied cherry.
The Aviation can be a tricky cocktail to balance depending on the type of gin, quality of citrus and sweetness of the crème de violette. PUNCH prefers a mild, full-bodied gin like Plymouth. Don't be shy—test the cocktail before straining and serving to ensure a balanced drink. Adjust with a dash of simple syrup or citrus accordingly.