Aviation Cocktail Recipe

The Cocktail Society's Aviation Cocktail recipe. Learn how to make an Aviation Cocktail with our expert mixologists.
Aviation Cocktail







Aviation Cocktail Recipe Ingredients

50 ml Gin
15 ml Maraschino liqueur
15 ml Crème de Violette Liqueur
15 ml Fresh lemon juice

How to make an Aviation Cocktail

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice.

Double strain and garnish with a Maraschino Cherry.

Tell Us About The Aviation Cocktail Recipe

This sky blue cocktail was first printed in Hugo R. Ensslin’s 1916 book Recipes for Mixed Drinks.

Ensslin was the bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York, in the early 1900s.

It’s essentially a gin sour, with the Maraschino offering sweetness, and the Crème de Violette adding a floral touch.

The Aviation disappeared in the 1960s for several decades.

This was no case of a missing pilot a la Amelia Earhart however, but simply due to the difficulty in obtaining Crème de Violette.

In fact, Harry Craddock’s later cocktail book The Savoy Cocktail Book omits the liqueur altogether from the recipe.

Rediscovering the Aviation Cocktail Recipe

It was Craddock’s 1930 recipe that was found by experimental bartenders in the 1990s, searching for the next rediscovered classic.

It gained a little traction, and then, around 2004, the original 1916 recipe was found.

Bartenders were intrigued by the pre-prohibition cocktail with it’s key violet ingredient. It soon became the rage on the craft cocktail scene.

In 2006, Aviation Gin took the name of the cocktail for their brand. It seemed that The Aviation cocktail was finally gearing up for a long haul flight into cocktail history.

Ryan Reynolds holding a bottle of Aviation Gin, named after the Aviation Cocktail Recipe
Actor Ryan Reynolds has stakes in Aviation Gin, named after the Aviation Cocktail Recipe

However, it didn’t make it off the ground for long.

Leading bartenders like Dale DeGroff turned against the drink. Despite listing the Savoy version in his 2002 book The Craft of the Cocktail, DeGroff later described the drink as tasting like hand soap.

We think that’s a little harsh.

The Aviation was a forgotten classic, but it’s high time this creation took to the skies once more.

What to try next

If you like the Aviation, switch the gin for Tequila with the Arte de Volar Cocktail.

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