Fly Away with An Aviation Cocktail

27 Jan

The Aviation was first documented in 1916

Working with the Barbara Lynch Gruppo in the past few years, I’ve been exposed to a lot of different food items that I never imaged before now. I’ve also had my palate exposed to numerous new drink combinations from none other than John Gertsen, the great bartender  who is the “man behind the woman,” and manager at Drink. One of the creations that I’ve recently become fond of, is the Aviation, a traditional gin cocktail from the early 1900’s.

All the basic ingredients minus one

The original Aviation is attributed to Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallick, located  on the South East corner of Broadway and 43rd Street, New York.  The first published recipe appeared in Ensslin’s 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks, and called for El Bart gin, lemon juice, maraschino, and crème de violette, a violet liqueur which gives the cocktail a pale sky-blue color.

Créme de Violette

Many places today don’t include the Creme de Violette in the drink, but Adam a bartender at The Russell House Tavern in Harvard Square turned me on to that aspect of the drink, and I think it is a critical part of making a correct Aviation.

Fresh Lemon juice is critical ... stay away from the plastic lemons!

As I’ve said in the past, one of the most important elements in anything you do is to use real ingredients.  You can get lemon juice in a bottle or in a plastic lemon, but take the extra time to simply get the juice from an actual lemon and you’ll be happy you did it.  The last element that puts this drink over the top is the inclusion of Luxardo Maraschino cherries.  These cherries, The Original, are not your regular, neon red ones you get at most bars. I got my jar of them at The Boston Shaker in Somerville, and they are well worth the trip to Davis Square.

Luxardo Cherries from The Boston Shaker

For my Aviation I use 2 oz of Gin, 1/2 oz of lemon juice, 1/2 oz of maraschino and a 1/4  oz of Créme de Violette.   Add the all of the ingredients to a shaker half full with ice, and shake for 30 seconds or so, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Finally add one of the Luxardo Cherries and enjoy!

Bottoms Up

So next time you are out and frequenting some place like Drink, Eastern Standard or The Russell House Tavern, ask for an Aviation and let this classic cocktail take you away.

Remember, Food is Love!




3 Responses to “Fly Away with An Aviation Cocktail”

  1. Justin January 28, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    The Aviation is one of my favorite cocktails (maybe my absolute favorite). And it’s one of the cocktails that I think I can actually make pretty well. I’ve never had it with the Creme de Violette though, I’d really like to try that. Great photos too!

  2. Emily @ A Cambridge Story January 29, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    Fantastic! Gin is my booze of choice and I go to Russell House and Eastern Standard somewhat frequently. I’ll definitely be ordering this next time I’m out!


  1. Tweets that mention Fly Away with An Aviation Cocktail « F2% -- - January 27, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Justin Ide, Justin Ide. Justin Ide said: Fly away with an Aviation A classic cocktail you'll love. @imbibe @russellhousetav @drinkboston […]

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