Aviation Cocktail Drink

Aviation

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

If you want to make a delightful drink, this Cocktail Aviation recipe has all the necessary ingredients! It’s a straightforward cocktail, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Aviation Cocktail Recipe

Lift your spirits with this simple Aviation Cocktail recipe! Made with Gin, cherry liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice, this tasty drink is great for any get-together.

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

192 kl

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Gin
  • ½ oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • ¼ oz Crème de Violette
  • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
  • Cherry, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer & Fine-strainer
  • Coupe Glass

Instructions

  • Prep glass: Ice up your Coupe glass with ice cubed to chill.
  • Add Lemon Juice: Squeeze and pour ¾ oz fresh lemon juice into the shaker.
  • Add Crème de Violette: Add ¼ oz Crème de Violette to the shaker.
  • Add Maraschino Liqueur: Measure and pour ½ oz Maraschino Liqueur into the shaker.
  • Add Gin: Pour 2 oz Gin into the shaker.
  • Prep Shaker: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake Well: Cap the shaker and shake the ingredients vigorously.
  • Strain: Fine strain your drink in your chilled Coupe glass
  • Garnish: Gently drop a cherry in the glass, serve and enjoy.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: When I don't have Gin, I use vodka; it offers a neutral base, allowing the other ingredients to shine.
  • Crème de Violette: Elderflower liqueur can replace Crème de Violette, altering the flavor but maintaining the floral notes.
  • Maraschino Liqueur: I've substituted Maraschino with a splash of cherry syrup when in a pinch; it adds sweetness and a cherry flavor.
  • Lemon Juice: Lime juice will be a valid substitute.

Making a Pitcher of Aviation Cocktail:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, Crème de Violette, and lemon juice. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled coupe glasses, garnish with a cherry, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic gin substitute; they mimic the botanicals of Gin quite well.
  • Maraschino Liqueur Substitute: Opt for a cherry-flavored syrup.
  • Crème de Violette Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic floral syrup, like elderflower syrup.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic Aviation Cocktail.

Making it Vegan:

The Aviation Cocktail is inherently vegan, containing no animal products or by-products. Ensure that the specific brands of liquors and syrups used are vegan-friendly, as some may use animal products in their production processes.

Nutrition Facts

Calories
192
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.1
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.01
g
0
%
Sodium
 
5
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
11
g
4
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
10
g
11
%
Potassium
 
28
mg
1
%
Protein
 
0.1
g
0
%
Vitamin A
 
1
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
8
mg
10
%
Calcium
 
2
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.3
mg
2
%

 

Aviation Cocktail Drink

Aviation Cocktail Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Lift your spirits with this simple Aviation Cocktail recipe! Made with Gin, cherry liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice, this tasty drink is great for any get-together.
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 192

Ingredients
 

  • 2 oz Gin
  • ½ oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • ¼ oz Crème de Violette
  • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
  • Cherry - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer & Fine-strainer
  • Coupe Glass

Instructions

  • Prep glass: Ice up your Coupe glass with ice cubed to chill.
  • Add Lemon Juice: Squeeze and pour ¾ oz fresh lemon juice into the shaker.
  • Add Crème de Violette: Add ¼ oz Crème de Violette to the shaker.
  • Add Maraschino Liqueur: Measure and pour ½ oz Maraschino Liqueur into the shaker.
  • Add Gin: Pour 2 oz Gin into the shaker.
  • Prep Shaker: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake Well: Cap the shaker and shake the ingredients vigorously.
  • Strain: Fine strain your drink in your chilled Coupe glass
  • Garnish: Gently drop a cherry in the glass, serve and enjoy.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: When I don't have Gin, I use vodka; it offers a neutral base, allowing the other ingredients to shine.
  • Crème de Violette: Elderflower liqueur can replace Crème de Violette, altering the flavor but maintaining the floral notes.
  • Maraschino Liqueur: I've substituted Maraschino with a splash of cherry syrup when in a pinch; it adds sweetness and a cherry flavor.
  • Lemon Juice: Lime juice will be a valid substitute.

Making a Pitcher of Aviation Cocktail:

  • Scale: To make a pitcher that serves 8, multiply all the ingredients by 8.
  • Mix: In a large pitcher, combine the Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, Crème de Violette, and lemon juice. Stir well.
  • Serve: Pour the mixture into chilled coupe glasses, garnish with a cherry, and serve immediately.

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic gin substitute; they mimic the botanicals of Gin quite well.
  • Maraschino Liqueur Substitute: Opt for a cherry-flavored syrup.
  • Crème de Violette Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic floral syrup, like elderflower syrup.
  • Proceed As Usual: Use these non-alcoholic substitutes instead of the regular ingredients, follow the original steps, and enjoy a non-alcoholic Aviation Cocktail.

Making it Vegan:

The Aviation Cocktail is inherently vegan, containing no animal products or by-products. Ensure that the specific brands of liquors and syrups used are vegan-friendly, as some may use animal products in their production processes.

 

What is an Aviation Cocktail?

An Aviation is a gin-based cocktail featuring maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice. Its unique and sophisticated flavor profile is recognized, combining floral, sweet, and sour notes. The name “Aviation” likely reflects the early 20th-century fascination with flight. The International Bartender Association(IBA) list the cocktail as one of “The Unforgettables“.

A side shot of an Aviation cocktail in a coupe glass on a black stone coaster placed on a beige cloth on a white table surrounded by a jigger, a shaker and two lemons, in front of a black wall.

What is an Aviation Cocktail made of – The ingredients

To prepare to make your Aviation, make sure you have these ingredients at hand:

  • Gin: Acts as the base spirit, providing a botanical flavor foundation.
  • Maraschino Liqueur: Offers a sweet and slightly nutty cherry note to the cocktail.
  • Crème de Violette: Infuses the drink with floral notes and gives it a distinctive violet color.
  • Lemon Juice: Adds a zesty and sour component, balancing the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Gin, Maraschino Liqueur, Crème de Violette, and two lemons laid out on a white bar table

How do you make an Aviation Cocktail?

Mix your own Aviation cocktail by following our simple method:

1
<p>Start by stirring some ice cubes in your glass. This will chill your coupe glass and prepare it for the mixture.</p>

Start by stirring some ice cubes in your glass. This will chill your coupe glass and prepare it for the mixture.

2
<p>Squeeze and pour ¾ oz of fresh lemon juice into the shaker. The lemon juice will add a zesty and sour component, balancing the sweetness of the other ingredients.</p>

Squeeze and pour ¾ oz of fresh lemon juice into the shaker. The lemon juice will add a zesty and sour component, balancing the sweetness of the other ingredients.

3
<p>Carefully add ¼ oz of Crème de Violette. Infuses the drink with floral notes and gives it a distinctive violet color.</p>

Carefully add ¼ oz of Crème de Violette. Infuses the drink with floral notes and gives it a distinctive violet color.

4
<p>Measure and add ½ oz of Maraschino Liqueur to the shaker. This liqueur will impart a sweet and slightly nutty cherry note to the cocktail.</p>

Measure and add ½ oz of Maraschino Liqueur to the shaker. This liqueur will impart a sweet and slightly nutty cherry note to the cocktail.

5
<p>Next, pour 2 oz of Gin into the shaker. Gin acts as the foundational spirit for this cocktail, providing its distinctive botanical flavor.</p>

Next, pour 2 oz of Gin into the shaker. Gin acts as the foundational spirit for this cocktail, providing its distinctive botanical flavor.

6
<p>Fill the cocktail shaker with ice cubes. This ensures that the cocktail will be well-chilled when the mixture is added.</p>

Fill the cocktail shaker with ice cubes. This ensures that the cocktail will be well-chilled when the mixture is added.

7
<p>Cap the shaker and shake the ingredients vigorously. Shaking will mix and chill the ingredients effectively, integrating the flavors well.</p>

Cap the shaker and shake the ingredients vigorously. Shaking will mix and chill the ingredients effectively, integrating the flavors well.

8
<p>Remove the ice cubes from your chilled coupe glass</p>

Remove the ice cubes from your chilled coupe glass

9
<p>Strain the mixture into your empty and chilled coupe glass. Straining will remove the ice and any pulp, leaving a smooth cocktail in your glass.</p>

Strain the mixture into your empty and chilled coupe glass. Straining will remove the ice and any pulp, leaving a smooth cocktail in your glass.

10
<p>Garnish with a cherry. This will add visual appeal to the cocktail.</p>

Garnish with a cherry. This will add visual appeal to the cocktail.

11
<p>Enjoy your Aviation cocktail!</p>

Enjoy your Aviation cocktail!

What is the difference between Aviation and Blue Moon cocktails?

The Aviation and Blue Moon cocktails, while similar, have distinct differences. The Aviation, traditionally made with Creme de Violette, incorporates maraschino liqueur, adding a sweet and slightly nutty cherry note to the drink. In contrast, the Blue Moon omits the maraschino liqueur and proposes Crème Yvette rather than Crème de Violette, introducing a rich berry profile. These ingredient variations result in the Aviation’s balanced flavor profile of sweet, sour, and floral notes, whereas the Blue Moon offers a more berry-forward and fruity flavor experience.

Aviation ingredients – Crème de Violette or Crème Yvette liqueur?

When making an Aviation Cocktail, often there is the traditional addition of Crème de Violette. This liqueur, known for brands like Rothman & Winter, brings a subtle floral note and a striking blue tint to the cocktail, staying true to the original Aviation recipe. On the other hand, Crème Yvette, with its blend of berries and violet petals, is another valid option. It offers a different experience, introducing a berry-rich profile and a reddish hue to the drink. While both liqueurs have their charm, Rothman & Winter’s Crème de Violette is a favorite for those looking to experience Aviation in its classic form, offering a well-balanced and authentic floral note that harmonizes perfectly with the other ingredients.

An Aviation cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a black stone coaster placed on a beige cloth on a white table surrounded by a jigger, a bar spoon, and two lemons.

What is the best Gin for an Aviation Cocktail?

Choose a gin with a balanced and pronounced botanical profile to complement the floral and fruity notes of the other ingredients. Bombay Sapphire, with its bright citrus and rich juniper notes, is a solid choice, ensuring the Gin is noticed among the bold flavors of Maraschino. Tanqueray, another well-regarded brand, offers a robust juniper presence with a hint of spice, adding an extra layer of complexity to Aviation. However, for those seeking a truly harmonious blend, Aviation American Gin is the go-to. It brings a smooth and clean profile with a subtle spice kick, making it an ideal companion to the sweet and floral components of the cocktail, creating a well-rounded and sophisticated drinking experience.

Variations on the Aviation Gin Cocktail

Want to add a small twist to your Aviation? We recommend one of these two:

  • Elderflower Aviation: Elderflower liqueur’s sweet and floral accent transforms the drink, complementing the gin and lemon juice for a harmonious blend. The subtle sweetness and floral notes from the elderflower are my favorites; they add sophistication and a refreshing twist.
  • Lavender Aviation: Lavender’s calming, aromatic qualities infuse the classic ingredients, enhancing the existing floral notes for a unique sensory experience. The touch of elegance and soothing aroma from the lavender make it my preferred choice for unwinding after a long day.

A side shot of an Aviation cocktail in a coupe glass on a black stone coaster placed on a beige cloth on a white table surrounded by a jigger, a shaker, a strainer, a bar spoon, a plant, and two lemons, in front of a grey wall.

History and Origins of the Aviation Cocktail

The Aviation cocktail is rooted in the early 20th century when the fascination with flight soared. Hugo Ensslin, a bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York, is credited with creating this iconic cocktail. He first published the recipe in his 1916 book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”.

The original recipe called for Gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, and crème de violette, the latter giving the cocktail its distinctive sky-blue color, reminiscent of the aviation theme. However, crème de violette became scarce, and many bartenders omitted it from the recipe. As a result, the Aviation served in many bars lost its signature color and a part of its unique flavor profile.

The resurgence of classic cocktails in the 21st century brought a renewed interest in the Aviation cocktail. The re-introduction of crème de violette to the market allowed mixologists to recreate Aviation in its original form, allowing patrons to experience the cocktail as Ensslin intended.

An Aviation cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on white marmol table surrounded by Gin, Crème de Violette, Maraschino Liqueur, and two lemons.

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FAQ

How many calories are in an Aviation Cocktail?
An Aviation typically contains approximately 200 calories, depending on the specific ingredients.
How strong is an Aviation Cocktail?
The Cocktail usually has an ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of around 30%, making it 60 proof, depending on the Gin's strength used.
What alcohol is used in an Aviation Cocktail?
The primary alcohol used is Gin, contributing to its distinctive botanical flavor.
In which glass is an Aviation Cocktail served?
It's traditionally served in a coupe glass.
What does an Aviation Cocktail taste like?
The Aviation Cocktail has a unique and sophisticated flavor profile, combining floral, sweet, and sour notes with a botanical foundation from the Gin.
What is the ratio of ingredients in an Aviation Cocktail?
The typical ratio is 2 oz gin, ½ oz maraschino liqueur, ¼ oz crème de violette, and ¾ oz lemon juice.
How is an Aviation Cocktail served with ice?
It's served up, shaking with ice, and then strained into a glass without ice.

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