portrait of a cocktail // the aviation

It’s only Wednesday, but I’m here to give you a hand… in the form of a cocktail! Booze was basically made for days like Wednesday (and Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday!)

Meet The Aviation, a classic that has flown under the radar for years, but seems to be emerging from obscurity with the comeback of traditional cocktails (like The Jungle Bird and Bee’s Knees). Thankfully, many liquor stores are starting to stock long-lost spirits that haven’t been prevalent since before the cocktail dark ages of the 70’s – 90’s.

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Simple to put together, to make this beautiful, amethyst hued drink, it requires the use of a couple obscure liqueurs.

You should be able to find the Maraschino liqueur at your local liquor store due to it’s popularity with at home bartenders. When most people hear the word Maraschino, those saccharine neon cherries come to mind. This could not be more different! It’s derived from cherries, but the sour Marasca variety it’s made from gives it a mostly tart flavor with a slight sweetness followed by bitter almond notes from the cherry pits. In my opinion, Maraschino is essential to any home bar. It’s a spirit that once you have it, you will wonder how you ever lived without!

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Ingredients

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1/4 Crème de Violette
  • 1/2 Maraschino
  • 1/2-3/4 oz lemon juice
  • dash grapefruit bitters
  • lemon peel, for garnish

Directions

Add all ingredients into a shaker cup with ice (adding less lemon juice if lemons are too tart). Shake and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with lemon peel.

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As for the Crème de Violette, you might have to so some searching, but you will be pleasantly reward with this delicious floral liqueur. The liqueur is steeped with violet flowers and appears black in the bottle, but when mixed into a drink, it will give it a vibrant violet color. Helloooo gorgeous! I added my own twist and gave a generous dash of grapefruit bitters to the shaker. Although not in the traditional recipe, it gives it another level of citrus and a slight bitterness that compliments a citrusy gin (like the aptly named Aviation gin.)

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These are the perfect drinks for dinner parties or ordering solo at the bar. Intense yet balanced, full of complex flavors, and beautiful – you will feel down right fancy drinking them! And if you are sipping them out of a coupe glass, just remember that you are drinking out of a cup modeled after Marie Antoinette’s ta-tas!

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Happy imbibing!

Recipe, styling, and photography by Craft & Cocktails for Jojotastic.