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Aviation Cocktail

A gorgeously hued cocktail, this aviation recipe creates a drink with a beautiful purple colour.

A New York classic from the early 20th century, the aviation was created in the Hotel Wallick, where Hugo Ensslin was the head bartender. Naturally, he published a book in 1916 in which the aviation recipe was a major part. Creme de violette can be rather tough to find, as it refers to almost any liqueur that has a violet flavouring, and the base spirit can either be neutral or brandy. A neutral base, however, as a drastically different flavour profile to a brandy base, and often the taste of the violets is somewhat lost in the latter.

Aviation Cocktail


    • A cocktail glass
    • 1 double shot of Beefeater gin
    • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon of Luxardo Maraschino Originale liqueur
    • 2 teaspoons of The Bitter Truth violet liqueur
    • Cocktail shaker
    • Ice
    • Maraschino cherry to garnish

How to serve it

  • Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigourously.
  • Strain into the glass, garnish with the cherry and serve.

If you eliminate the maraschino liqueur from this aviation recipe, you have a blue moon cocktail, and substituting the maraschino liqueur for Cointreau or another triple sec creates a moonlight cocktail. If you're struggling to obtain the violet liqueur, consider using Creme Yvette instead, which is somewhat similar but can be equally tricky to find.