A classic sour cocktail used to convert vodka lovers to gin, made distinctive with its slight sky-blue colouring evocative of the time when the biplanes ruled the sky.

Our Favourite Recipe:

50ml Gin

10ml Crème De Violette

15ml Maraschino Liqueur

15ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice


Flight was just a recent phenomenon, attracting a celebrity cult appeal that pervaded and inspired the every day as personified by this high-flying cocktail. The original Aviation cocktail was first published in Hugo R. Ensslin’s 1916 ‘Recipes for Mixed Drinks,’ heavily featuring the Alps produced crème de violette, the coloured alcohol alluding to the drink’s very name.

However, the recipe was later corrupted by Harry Craddock who published the cocktail without the crème de violette in his Savoy Cocktail Book (1930), most likely due to the scarcity of the liqueur, which was in short supply throughout Europe (and eventually disappeared altogether from the American market in the 1960s).  This meant that for the next forty odd years the cocktail was re-established without one of the central ingredients until 2007 when it was brought back into the American market. Yet even today dispute still remains over whether the Aviation should be made with or without the flavoursome violet liqueur, a loyal fan base following on both sides. Listed below is that original Aviation, but add another 10ml of Maraschino and take out the crème de violette and there you will have Craddock’s own, more sour version.

Original Recipe: 

From ‘The Savoy Cocktail Club.’

1/3 Lemon Juice

1/2 Dry Gin

2 dashes of Maraschino

Shake well and strain into a cocktail Glass.

Difford, Simon. Diffordsguide Cocktails, The Bartender’s Bible. 10th Edition.

How to make it:

Add all the ingredients into a shaker with ice, shake before straining into a Martini glass.

How to drink it:

Perhaps add a zest of lemon and take off with this citrus and floral drink. Perfect for those balmy summer evenings! Its alcohol content is masked by those intoxicating elements so make sure your seat belt is fastened for a safe landing.

The Aviation cocktail was like a secret handshake into the club.”  

David Wondrich

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