Soaring High with the Aviation Cocktail: A Dive into History, Ingredients, and Variations

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Aviation Cocktail | Gin Cocktails

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Embark on a journey through time and taste with our guide to the Aviation cocktail. Discover its rich history, essential ingredients, and preparation techniques. Explore variations and alternative cocktails that share the same spirit of innovation. Elevate your mixology skills and take flight with the classic blue-hued libation that has captured the hearts of cocktail enthusiasts. Cheers to the Aviation cocktail experience!

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The Aviation cocktail is a classic libation that has soared through time, capturing the hearts of cocktail enthusiasts with its unique flavor profile and fascinating history. This iconic drink, known for its pale blue hue and delightful taste, has become a staple in the world of mixology. In this article, we’ll take a journey through the history of the Aviation cocktail, explore its essential ingredients and barware, provide a step-by-step guide for preparation, delve into popular variations, and introduce alternative cocktails that share its spirit.

History of Drink

The Aviation cocktail traces its roots back to the early 20th century, with its first appearance in Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 cocktail recipe book, “Recipes for Mixed Drinks.” Originally, the cocktail was crafted with gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice. Over the years, the recipe underwent modifications as the availability of ingredients changed, and the once-rare crème de violette became a key player in the cocktail’s distinctive color.

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  1. 2 oz Gin: The base spirit of the Aviation cocktail, typically a London Dry Gin, adds a botanical complexity.

  2. 1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur: A cherry-flavored liqueur that contributes a subtle sweetness and depth to the drink.

  3. 1/4 oz Crème de Violette: This unique liqueur infuses the cocktail with its signature pale blue color and a hint of floral notes.

  4. 3/4 oz Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice provides the necessary acidity to balance the sweetness of the other ingredients.

Essential Barware

To craft the perfect Aviation cocktail, you’ll need the following barware:

  1. Cocktail Shaker: To mix and chill the ingredients.

  2. Strainer: Essential for separating the liquid from the ice when pouring.

  3. Jigger: A precise measuring tool to ensure the correct ratios of each ingredient.

  4. Citrus Juicer: For extracting fresh lemon juice.

  5. Coupe Glass: For a proper serve.

How to Make It

  1. Fill the cocktail shaker with ice to chill the ingredients.

  2. Add 2 oz of gin, 1/2 oz of maraschino liqueur, 1/4 oz of crème de violette, and 3/4 oz of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the shaker.

  3. Shake the mixture vigorously for about 15-20 seconds.

  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.

  5. Garnish with a cherry for a finishing touch.


While the classic recipe stands the test of time, mixologists have put their own spin on the Aviation cocktail. Some variations may include:

  1. Modern Aviation: Substituting elderflower liqueur for crème de violette.

  2. Blue Moon: A simpler version with gin, maraschino liqueur, and lemon juice, omitting crème de violette.


If you’re in the mood for something different, consider these cocktails with a similar appeal:

  1. Gin Fizz: A refreshing cocktail with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water.

  2. Last Word: A balanced combination of gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice.

Last Call

In conclusion, the Aviation cocktail remains a timeless classic, inviting enthusiasts to experience the elegance and sophistication of a bygone era. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or explore variations and alternatives, the Aviation cocktail continues to be a symbol of innovation and creativity in the world of mixology. Cheers to taking flight with a glass of this iconic libation!


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