The Aviation cocktail is a classic gin drink that dates back to the turn-of-the-20th century. It was first published in Huge Enslinn’s book “Recipes for Mixed Drinks” in 1916 while he worked at the Hotel Wallick in New York City. Aviation was almost forgotten in the decades that followed. This is because creme de Violette, one of its primary ingredients, disappeared from the marketplace in the 1960s.
Haus Alpenz, a Minneapolis-based importer, began importing Austrian Rothman & Winter creme violette in 2007, at the peak of the craft cocktail renaissance. The liqueur became more readily available as bartenders discovered the classic Aviation recipe.
The Aviation is a floral, unique cocktail that incorporates gin with maraschino, fresh lemon juice, and creme de Violette. Gin is the base for this cocktail, maraschino adds its bittersweet cherry flavors, and lemon provides acidity. Creme de Violette has a strong floral aroma, so you should use it sparingly. If you use too much, your Aviation will taste a bit like potpourri.
You can also enjoy Creme Yvette. This historic liqueur was revived 40 years after it had been discontinued. The liqueur is made with parma violets and includes blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. It also contains orange peel, vanilla, honey, and honey. Violet liqueurs are now available from brands like The Bitter Truth, Giffard, and The Bitter Truth.
Others will say that Aviation isn’t complete without the violet liqueur. Despite its absence, drinkers continued to enjoy Aviation. They made it without the violette. Harry Craddock’s 1930 book “The Savoy Cocktail Book” included a violetteless Aviation. If you want to try the original recipe, you will need the purple liquid.
Let’s hope at least one example of each brand will survive, irrespective of your chosen brand. So, the world will never be without creme violette.
- 2 ounces gin
- 1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
- 1/4 ounce creme de Violette
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Garnish: brandied cherry
- Add the maraschino, creme de Violette, and lemon juice into a shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled.
- Strain into a cocktail glass.
- Garnish the dish with a cherry brandied.