The Aviation - A Prohibition Era Cocktail

The Aviation is a classic cocktail I've heard people talking about since the moment I began my adventure in cocktail making. It heralds back to the early 1900's in New York and happens to be the most beautiful martini as well. Maybe I'm biased because I think everything purple is superior but whatever... the point here is, it's delightful and complex and if you like gin you should give it a go.

I read in many places that the creme de violette can be very hard to find (and thus several variations of the drink have been made over the years) but my local store had at least 2 brands on the shelves for a pretty reasonable price.

This drink hit me with a strange complexity considering how few ingredients it contains. My first sip I was welcomed with three distinct waves of flavor. The first thing you'll get from this is the sourness of the lemon - as technically it's a part of the "sours" family - immediately followed by the rich sweetness of the luxardo maraschino liqueur. Finally they mellow together into the light floral notes of the violette. This is certainly more spirit forward than some of the other drinks I've concocted but that seems to be the case for prohibition era drinks. If you like gin I would absolutely recommend it.


  • 1.5 oz gin, I went with Hendrick's here beause I thought the rose notes in it would play well with the violette
  • 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 0.75 oz maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)
  • 0.25 oz creme de violette
  • Cherry & lemon peel to garnish


Pour your lemons juice, maraschino liqueur, gin and creme de violette in your cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Give it a good 20 second shake to combine the ingredients. Pour into a coupe glass and drop in a cherry. Use a vegetable peeler to cut a piece of lemon peel (try not to get the white) and the fold it in half over the drink to express the oils across the top, then drop it in.

If you're not sure what I'm saying with this last bit get one of those little Halo oranges and after you peel it try folding pieces of that peel in half and watching for the oils. They're easier to see on this thicker skin but you'll get the same effect with the lemon, I promise. ;)