Aviation (cocktail)

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Aviation Cocktail.jpg
Type Cocktail
Primary alcohol by volume
Served Straight up; without ice
Standard garnish


Standard drinkware
Cocktail Glass (Martini).svg
Cocktail glass
Commonly used ingredients
Preparation Add all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
Some recipes omit crème de violette.

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.


The Aviation was created by Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York, in the early twentieth century.[1] 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 sky-blue color.[2]

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.[3] Many later bartenders have followed Craddock's lead, leaving out the difficult-to-find violet liqueur.[4]

Related cocktails[edit]

  • 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, without maraschino.[5]
  • The Moonlight cocktail made with gin, lime juice, Cointreau, and crème de violette.[6]
  • Creme Yvette, a violet liqueur made with additional spices, can be substituted in the recipe for crème de violette.[7]


  1. ^ Hess, Robert. "Aviation". Drinkboy.com. Archived from the original on 21 January 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2011. 
  2. ^ Ensslin, Hugo (2009) [1917]. Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Mud Puddle Books Inc. ISBN 978-1-60311-190-4. 
  3. ^ Harry Craddock, The Savoy Cocktail Book, Constable & Co., London, 1930; p. 25
  4. ^ Gary Regan, The Joy of Mixology, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York, 2003; p. 209
  5. ^ "Blue Moon Cocktail". The Washington Post. 2 April 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Regan, Gary (28 September 2007). "The Cocktailian: Creme de violette lifts Aviation to the moon". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Spirits: We Want Creme Yvette!". The Washington Post. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2013.