Aviation – Original Recipe & History

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Course: DrinksCuisine: American






Total time



Learn how to make a classic Aviation.


  • 2/3 oz 2/3 Lemon Juice

  • 1/2 oz 1/2 Maraschino Liqueur

  • 1/2 oz 1/2 Creme de Violette

  • 2 oz 2 Dry Gin


  • Technique: Saxe Soda Shake
  • Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
  • Add one medium or two small ice cubes to the cocktail shaker and shake until the ice fully melts.
  • Without a strainer, pour the chilled and aerated drink into a glass.
  • Garnish:
  • Maraschino cherry

Recipe Video


Featured Video

The History Of The Aviation.

The Aviation was created in New York by Hugo Ensslin and is from his 1917 cocktail book, Recipes For Mixed Drinks. This was one of the last cocktail books to be written before prohibition, making this book a fascinating profile of the height of mixing drinks in pre-prohibition America. This delicious drink didn’t last long because once prohibition went into effect, Creme de Violette stopped being produced, and people started mixing this with either Creme Yvette or just leaving the Creme de Violette out entirely.

Creme de Violette started being imported into the United States in 2007 again, and it became possible to make real aviation again. It’s incredible to think that for almost 90 years, this drink was never made in the United States, which explains why this drink was not very popular till recently.

What Does The Aviation Taste Like?

The Aviation is a fantastic cocktail and deceptively potent. It’s slightly sour and not too sweet and has a beautiful floral lavender cherry flavor unique to any other sour. The Aviation is as delicious as it looks. This is the cocktail I make for people who say they hate gin. Everyone loves this drink.

The Most Important Ingredient.

The essential ingredient in this drink is the Creme De Violette. For the most part, this is a pretty easy drink to make, and the ingredients are straightforward. The issue I have found is not all Creme De Violette are good quality. You may only see 1 or 2 different bottles of Creme De Violette at a large liquor store, and the cheaper ones (about $15 or less) lack flavor. They have the right color, but I need to use a whole oz to make the flavor right. The higher quality ones have much more flavor and only need the required 1/2 oz to taste right; even with limited options, it’s better to buy the higher quality Creme De Violette.

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