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 the perfect for the summertime. The first gin cocktail I found on my drinks board was the aviation cocktail. It’s a classic drink I’ve never gotten around to trying, so I had to fix that.
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. Prairie Organic Gin fit the bill. Their web site describes it as, “An enjoyable herbal blend made with time and care. With a hint of juniper and a delicate finish, this is gin that’s light, refreshing and everything you want from organic.”
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 web site 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.
Preparation was straightforward and took 5 minutes from start to garnish. The garnish was actually 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: