The Aviation is a classic gin cocktail known for its deep purple color.
If you can give me a more beautiful and delicious cocktail, I’ll eat my hat. The classic Aviation is as evergreen (rather evenpurple!) and trendy as those vintage jeans you just can’t throw out. Armed with gin for a bit of a kick, maraschino liqueur for a sweet whisper, a pop of fresh lemon juice, and a dash of crème de violette for that mesmerizing lavender hue.
The Aviation cocktail might remind you of the Gin Sour because of its tart, citrusy profile, only it’s like the Gin Sour threw on some edgy purple lipstick – thanks to the touch of crème de violette. It is also somewhat similar to the Tom Collins as both drinks have a gin base and use of lemon juice, though a Tom Collins uses soda water and sugar instead of the Maraschino and violette liqueurs. Then, there’s also a cute sweetness hint from the maraschino liqueur, making it a distant cousin of the classic Martini. So, if you’re a fan of those, you’re certainly gonna love the Aviation.
And believe me, one look at its gorgeous color and a taste of its killer flavor, you’ll feel all kinds of classy. As someone who’s been there, done that, this cocktail has become a firm favorite for house parties. Ready to unleash your inner party wizard?
Why You’ll Love This Cocktail Recipe
- Have you seen that color? This drink is as beautiful as it is delicious.
- This drink is extremely easy to make and looks so classy.
- I love preparing the Aviation Cocktail whenever I have my friends over because it’s an easy way to impress and classes up the gathering.
- Cocktail shaker
- Jigger (to measure the gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, and crème de violette)
- A citrus juicer
- A coupe or martini glass (ideally chilled)
- 2 oz gin
- 1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
- 1/2 oz lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1/4 oz crème de violette
- maraschino cherry for garnish
- Start by filling a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Add the gin, maraschino liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and crème de violette to the shaker.
- Shake the mixture vigorously for about 15-20 seconds.
- Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe or martini glass, using a strainer to catch any ice or sediment.
- Garnish it with a maraschino cherry. You can either drop the cherry directly into the drink or skewer it with a toothpick.
Tips and Tricks
- Use premium gin and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- I always make sure to chill my martini glass, coupe glass, or whatever glass I have on hand. It is simple, I keep it in the freezer for ten or fifteen minutes while preparing the drink.
- Give your shaker a vigorous 15-20 second shake. This chills and mixes the cocktail to the perfect blend.
- Double strain with a fine mesh strainer when you pour. This is the easiest way to ditch those annoying small ice chips.
If you want to try something different, I like using elderflower liqueur sometimes for a sweeter spin.
You want a high quality gin with strong botanical vibes. I recommend tried and true London dry gins – like Tanqueray, Beefeater, or Bombay Sapphire.
If you’re making your Aviation Cocktail in advance, make sure you wait on the lemon juice. It should be added fresh when serving. If you have leftovers, you can keep it in your fridge for up to 24 hours, but the quality will go down over time.
Swap gin for a non-alcoholic alternative (Seedlip Spice 94 works wonders) and ditch the maraschino liqueur. Then use violet syrup.
By swapping out an ingredient or two, you can achieve an entirely new cocktail:
- Blue Moon Aviation: Instead of the purple crème de violette, introduce some blue curaçao. You will get a stunning blue color and citrusy flavor.
- White Lady: This is a frothy and creamy variation that replaces the maraschino liqueur and crème de violette with an ounce of triple sec or Cointreau. Then add some egg white for a frothy finish.
- Sake Aviation: Instead of your crème de violette, try adding half an ounce of sake and a little matcha powder.
- Violet Fizz: After mixing your aviation cocktail, straining, and pouring, top your glass off with some soda water or prosecco.