Before diving into the surprisingly straightforward history of the Aviation cocktail recipe, here are some other classic gin cocktails to check out: the Negroni
, the Classic Gin Martini
, the Tom Collins
, the Singapore Sling
, and the Gimlet.
In terms of the Aviation cocktail's origin, according to the drink's Wikipedia page
, "The Aviation was created by Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York, in the early twentieth century." The Aviation Wikipedia page notes that the first published recipe for the drink was in Ensslin's Recipes for Mixed Drinks, which was published in 1916. That original drink recipe included crème de violette, although that ingredient was omitted later on in "Harry Craddock's influential Savoy Cocktail Book." We here at Tipsy Bartender are partial to the crème de violette
, and since it's also in the O.G. recipe, we've included it in our classic Aviation mixed drink recipe. Even though the Aviation has a simple origin story, its history is still pretty interesting. PUNCH notes
that "During the early days of the cocktail renaissance, the drink was one of several that circled the globe as 'bartender handshakes'—or cult drinks favored and shared among the bar world’s in-crowd." PUNCH also points out that the Aviation has dipped into and out of popularity, making a resurgence in the 1990s after decades of being relegated to relative obscurity. Although the same article says that the drink has once again died down in popularity because a lot of people haven't been that into classic gin drink recipes lately. Regardless, if you're looking to become a great home or professional bartender, you'll want to know how to make both the 1916 version of the Aviation as well as the 1930 version.
1 1/2 oz. (45ml) Gin
1/2 oz. (15ml) Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz. (15ml) Maraschino Liqueur
1/4 oz. (7.5ml) Creme de Violet
Garnish: Maraschino Cherry or Lemon Twist
1. Shake ingredients with ice and strain into glass.
2. Garnish with cherry.