Thursday, 9 June 2011

Classic Cocktail of The Month: Aviation

With only a couple weeks until the first official day of summer, here in Victoria B.C. the sun has made an early appearance after nearly two months of hibernation.  On such a beautiful day, one can only help but to think of a cocktail to enjoy.  With a slightly grey sky, an Aviation seems like the perfect fit for today.  The Aviation first emerges in the early 1910's in Hugo Ensslin's 1916 Publication of "Recipes for Mixed Drinks".  Head Bartender at Times Square's Hotel Wallick, Hugo was responsible for  publishing the last guide to bartending before prohibition was enacted in the USA.  This possibly could account for the reason behind the lost of the much beloved creme de violette, which takes a leave of absence in nearly all cocktail books after then ratification of the volstead act in 1919.  The original 1916 recipe for the Aviation calls for 2oz of Gin, 0.5 oz lemon juice, 2 tsp maraschino liqueur and 1 tsp of creme de violette.  In most modern cocktail books and bars your find the recipe some where along the lines of the following.

 Aviation
- 2 oz Gin
- 0.5 oz Lemon Juice
- 0.5 oz Maraschino Liqueur
- 0.25 oz Creme De Violette

- Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker
- Add ice and shake
- Double Strain into chilled cocktail glass
- Garnish with a brandied cherry and/or a lemon zest


Aviation
I tend to drink my Aviations slightly different from both above recipes, nothing of a major changes by any means.  For my tastes I find the following recipe more suited to me.

Aviation
- 2 oz Gin
- 0.75 oz Lemon Juice
- 0.5 oz Maraschino Liqueur
- 0.25 oz Creme De Violette
  
Only an addition .25 oz of lemon juice was added but I feel it really balances the cocktail perfectly.  I find the maraschino is very over powering otherwise.

For this months variation I didn't want to make too dramatic of a twist of this classic.  As you'll see, all the flavors of the original Aviation are there just with a slightly altered state of delivery and a couple extra ingredients.  

Aces High
- 2 oz Gin
- 0.75 oz Fentimans Victorian Lemonade
- 0.5 oz Maraschino Liqueur
- 0.25 oz Creme De Violette
- 1/2 an Egg White
- 2 Dashes Orange Bitters

- Add all ingredients except lemonade to cocktail shaker
- Dry shake
- Add ice and shake
- Double Strain into chilled champagne flute
- Top with Fetimans Victorian Lemonade
- Garnish with a long lemon twist

Aces High


Although I could never hope to have any of my cocktails achieve the cult status that has become of the Aviation, I would love for you to give this or any of my original liberations a try and let me know your honest opinion.  I'll also be trying to update my blog at least once a week with some new ideas and topics of conversations.  Future blog posts include this coming Mixology Monday post on the 20th, couple more post for cocktail beginners and some blind tastings.  Remember comments are always appreciated!

3 comments:

  1. I Agree whole-heartedly that the Aviation is the Perfect summer drink! Here is the hard part, where on earth can I find the creme de violette in Victoria? I have tried the Strath and they are having difficulties obtaining any more of it - suggestions/ help? This is currently my favourite drink:-)
    Sam

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