Classic: Aviation

The Aviation Cocktail is a gin-based drink that’s a great addition to your repertoire. It has a good balance of flavours that should appeal to most of your guests. A variation of the Gin Sour, it was invented at the beginning of the 20th century by a hotel bartender in New York named Hugo Ensslin.

As with most cocktails, there are a few variations on the recipe. Here is the most common one:

2 oz dry gin (we like Dillon’s or Tanqueray)
½ oz lemon juice
¼ oz of maraschino liqueur
1 maraschino cherry

Fill a mixing glass with ice and pour in all of the ingredients. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a single cherry (we make our own at FMMS and if you’re lucky, soon we’ll show you how).


The original recipe also included 2 dashes of crème de violette, which is a liqueur with a violet flower flavour. The addition of violette gives the drink a pale blue sky colour, hence the moniker “aviation”. Unfortunately, it’s relatively difficult to find, but sites like K & L Wine Merchants have them available if you feel like being truly authentic.

I find the Aviation is best suited as an early evening cocktail – ideally just after dinner as it’s relatively light and packs some sweetness like a dessert.

Sit back, fold your tray table up, and enjoy!

Just don’t offer one to the pilot before take-off (Sorry. I had to.)


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