The problem with cocktails, like the Aviation, is that they require ingredients that may be hard to find, well at least if they are to be done properly. Of course, when I make a cocktail, I want it done properly, so I am constantly on the lookout for ingredients that are not in my inventory. When I travel to a different destination I usually have a list of potential spirit candidates that I hope to find in the nearest liquor store. When I headed off to New Orleans, it was no different. On my short list were Ron Zacapa Centenario and Luxardo Maraschino. In both cases I was able to acquire said products. The Maraschino was very important because it will finally enable me to make a whole lot of classic cocktails that I’ve been missing out on. For my first Maraschino cocktail, I introduce the Aviation Cocktail.
I decided on the Aviation Cocktail because it is one of the most written and thoroughly dissected cocktails on the Internet. It is a very simple cocktail, with an origin sometime in the 1930s. It comes in a standard recipe and a few modified recipes. The standard Aviation combines Gin, Maraschino Liqueur and fresh lemon juice. The simplicity makes this drink elegant, the combination of flavours makes it unique. But does it perform and live up to the hype? Let’s see.
Aviation Cocktail Recipe
2 oz Iceberg Gin
½ oz Maraschino
½ oz Creme de Violette
½ oz Lemon Juice
The flavour is best described as sweet and sour with a slightly medicinal flavour, in a good way, with a bit of spiciness coming through in the finish.
This Aviation isn’t bad, but when you surf around the Internet you’d think this was the be-all-and-end-all cocktail. Would I use it as a drink to convert someone from a Vodka Martini? Probably not, there might be too much flavour for them and some people find the fl;avour of Creme de Violette to be a bit like soap. Is it better than a Manhattan? Nope. Does it at least have potential? Definitely. This is a good cocktail, but it seems to lack something, well at least for me.
There are alternative Aviation recipes, and the one using Creme de Violette may be worth experimenting with. Dam, it looks like I’ll need to go on another spirit hunt because I don’t have any Creme de Violette in my inventory. Well, you gotta do, what you gotta do, if you want a great drink!
If you liked the Aviation Cocktail you might also like the French Martini