Friday Night Cocktails: Aviation


The Aviation is the cocktail to have when you aren’t sure what you should be drinking.  Another gem from the Prohibition Era, its the cocktail for that moment of indecision, when you can’t seem to read your own mood or sort through conflicting thoughts.  Just mix up one of these and you’ll be transported up and away (as the name suggests) to a higher and clearer plateau.  This is the drink I served to a dear friend when she was anxiously awaiting to hear how her mother’s surgery went.  It’s the drink I made myself to calm my nerves before accompanying a different friend as her date to her office holiday party - no ordinary office or ordinary party though, as she works for CNN and the party was at the private residence of her boss, who happens to be Anderson Cooper.  You’ll know you’ve made the drink correctly if the resulting color is one you can’t easily name - a sort of undulating violet-grey-blue reminiscent of something you might see in the stratosphere from an airplane window or in the eyes of Anderson Cooper.  

**A note on ingredients:  This drink calls for Maraschino Liqueur which is clear in color, not red like a maraschino cherry or the juice from a maraschino cherry jar.  It has a taste all its own, a grown-up and complex sweetness that is essential in this drink and its green cocktail-cousin, The Last Word.  I prefer the look of this cocktail when its un-garnished.  The recipe itself is in perfect balance and the addition of a lemon twist or cocktail cherry (two common garnishes for this cocktail) I think disrupt both the visual appeal and flavor profile of the drink.


(makes one)

2 oz gin
2 teaspoons Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz Creme De Violette

Combine the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake to chill well, then strain into a cocktail glass.  Drizzle the Creme de Violette into the glass and garnish with a lemon twist.