Recipe: Aviation Cocktail

By J. Halperin

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Aviation cocktail

Aviation cocktail


This recipe goes back to the early 20th century. It was created in New York during World War I, but the name became attached to stories of cocktail recipes created for and served on the first luxury airlines of the 1920s. The recipe faded with the end of the Roaring 20s and the onset of the Great Depression, but it has resurfaced over the past few years as interest in cocktails and mixology exploded.


1 ¼ oz. gin

½ oz. Maraschino liqueur

1 lemon (w/ lemon squeezer)

¼ oz. Crème de Violette

Fill mixing tin ¼ full with ice and pre-chill martini glass with ice cubes.

Pour gin, then maraschino liqueur, then fresh-squeezed lemon juice into mixing tin, and shake vigorously.

Strain the mix into chilled martini glass then dribble Crème de Violette into the drink, letting a small amount fall to the bottom of the glass.

Garnish with a lemon peel, taking care to peel it in a way that lemon zest is also added to the cocktail.



Some recipes remove the Crème de Violette from the recipe, but I like it. I find it creates a nice transition from the citrus-y taste when you first sip the drink to a deeper, fruit-heavy tinge as you finish it off.

I prefer using Hendrick’s Gin when I make these, but use whichever brand you prefer.

Some recipes also call for adding a pinch of sugar to the ingredients in the mixing tin.


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