The Aviation is a classic cocktail made with gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice. Some recipes omit the crème de violette. It is served straight up, in a cocktail glass.
Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon.
2 Parts Gin
1 Part Maraschino Liqueur
0,5 Part Violet Liqueur
1 Part Lemon Juice
1 Twist Lemon
The Aviation was created by Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York, in the early twentieth century. The first published recipe for the drink appeared in Ensslin's 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Ensslin's recipe called for 1½ oz. El Bart gin, ¾ oz. lemon juice, 2 dashes maraschino liqueur, and 2 dashes crème de violette, a violet liqueur which gives the cocktail a pale purple color. Omitting the cherry liquor changes the drink into a blue moon which is a grey color.
Harry Craddock's influential Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) omitted the crème de violette, calling for a mixture of two-thirds dry gin, one-third lemon juice, and two dashes of maraschino. Many later bartenders have followed Craddock's lead, leaving out the difficult-to-find violet liqueur.
Creme Yvette, a violet liqueur made with additional spices, can be substituted in versions that call for crème de violette.
The Aviation can be considered a variation on the Gin sour, using maraschino as its sweetener.
The Blue Moon cocktail is made with gin, lemon juice, and crème de violette or Creme Yvette, without maraschino.
The Moonlight cocktail is made with gin, lime juice, Cointreau, and crème de violette.