Cocktails of the Week
Comments 4

Cocktail of the week no.14: the Aviation

Have I mentioned before how much I like crème de violette? Oh, yep, I think I have. And sour cocktails? That too. So I’ve been meaning to make this cocktail for quite some time, and after a long, long break from cocktails of the week (not that I wasn’t drinking them, believe), I finally got around to it.

The Aviation is a pre-Prohibition cocktail that vanished from the scene for much of the twentieth century, only to be revived in the last decade. The absence of crème de violette (l’horreur) in America is largely to blame for its disappearance, and even now the ingredient is often listed as optional in recipes. But how could anyone voluntarily omit this AMAZING NECTAR? I’m actively looking for ways to use it that don’t involve just necking it from the bottle.

This is a strong drink, containing as it does quite a lot of gin and not a huge amount of anything else. Ratios differ on the maraschino and lemon, and I went with slightly more lemon because… sour, I like sour. Some recipes call for a lemon twist garnish rather than a cherry, but I finally got my hands on a jar of Luxardo cherries and I’m putting them in everything.


2 oz gin (Aviation is often recommended but I used Martin Miller’s which is just gorgeous)
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
1/4 oz crème de violette (I used more, no question)

Shake all ingredients over ice and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry, a twist of lemon, or, if you have such a delightful thing, a candied violet.



  1. Hello! Glad to see you’re posting your cocktails of the week again. I was getting worried that you’d disappeared into some amazing bar, never to return!
    I confess I’ve never tried creme de violette straight – silly question, but what does it taste like?

    • Yep I just got derailed by a holiday, but am back! Have you ever tried Parma Violets – they’re a little candy in a purple package? Basically it’s quite a powdery, sweet, floral taste, a bit like an old lady’s perfume but in a good way. That probably wasn’t the most helpful description but I guess that’s what I think of!

      • Oh, I know those candies! I have never tried them though. Perhaps I’ll cut to the chase and hunt down some of the liqueur. Counts as research….

  2. The very first cocktail I made when I finally got my hands on a bottle of Creme de Violette. Always a favorite. Nice photo, by the way.

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