It’s July in South Florida, and it’s HOT! The need for refreshing cool beverages is up there with air conditioning right now, so I thought I’d review some gin cocktails over the next few weeks. My go-to spirit is vodka, but there’s something so crisp and clean about gin that makes it perfect for the summertime. The first gin cocktail I found on my drinks board was the Aviation Gin Cocktail. It’s a classic drink I’ve never gotten around to trying, so I had to fix that.
This post was originally published on July 7, 2017. The text and photos were updated on July 12, 2021. The review and rating have not been changed.
The Aviation Gin Cocktail combines crème de violette, maraschino cherry liqueur and a bit of lemon juice for a perfectly sweet and tart cocktail that’s as pretty as it is delicious.
I like a more subtle gin than traditional London dry (think Tanqueray or Beefeater), and I wanted to try something new. St. George Botanivore Gin fit the bill. It’s my new favorite dry gin, but I also like Hendrick’s and Prairie Organic Gin.
The liqueurs were new to me and required some research. I discovered there aren’t many choices for maraschino liqueur or crème de violette, but I found highly recommended brands of each:
Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur‘s website lists it as, “Distilled from the leaves, pits, stems, and skins of Luxardo sour marasca cherries, creating a complex liqueur with a persistent cherry aroma. Smooth but sharp, this liqueur has a rounded flavor with notes of cherries and rosewater.”
Rothman & Winter Creme de Violette Produced in Austria from the Queen Charlotte and March Violets found in the Alps. elegant in its simplicity, this authentic crème de violette captures their fragrance, vibrant colors, and taste.
I also had a jar of Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries on hand for the garnish. They have to be the best cocktail cherries I’ve ever found!
Preparation was straightforward and took 5 minutes from the start to garnish. In fact, the garnish was the most “difficult” part, but only because I have never made a lemon twist. A quick google and I found a video showing 3 different ways to make one. It actually wasn’t too hard to do thanks to my channel knife.
I served my cocktails in coupe glasses (a.k.a. champagne saucers, but martini glasses would have worked too. Really, any type of cocktail glass that’s designed for drinks that are served up will work here.
Finally, I did notice that my Aviation Gin Cocktail seemed cloudier than the recipe’s photos. I probably should have used a fine mesh strainer to get out the lemon pulp, but I didn’t think of it. I just used the built-in strainer in my cocktail shaker.