Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thirsty Thursday: Fly the Friendly Skies with an Aviation Cocktail

You can make all the fun you want of the mixology trend with its vested historian/bartenders and their house made coffee/pomegranate bitters, but granting some silliness, these folks have done a lot to improve the way we drink. The Aviation cocktail is a case in point. Ten years ago the Aviation was all but lost to history. One of the ingredients, creme de violette, wasn't even being produced anymore and one of the others, Maraschino Liqueur, wasn't easy to find. Fast forward a decade and every fancy bar has a bottle of Maraschino, there are several brands of creme de violette being made, and the Aviation has become one of the favorites of the classic cocktail crown. And the Aviation is popular for a reason, it's cool, refreshing, simple to make and has a great blend of flavors, plyaing off sour and sweet with the botanical notes from the gin.

I use Gary Regan's recipe for Aviations (which uses a higher percentage of creme de violette than most), but you should feel free to play with the ratios:

1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. creme de violette (I use Creme Yvette)
1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur
1/2 oz. lemon juice
Traditional garnish is a cherry but I usually skip it.

Shake with ice and strain - couldn't be easier.

Now, this drink is tasty done in the traditional style with London Dry Gin, but rebel that I am, I really like it with Genever Gin, which gives it a mellower herbal flavor which melds better with the liqueurs.

And if you don't have creme de violette, don't panic. Just use a double dose of maraschino liqueur. It won't be technically correct, but it's still a great drink, and unless you become a real Aviation fan, I wouldn't recommend shelling out for a full bottle of violette.

So mix one up on a warm evening. Now this is what I call "something special in the air."

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