Aviation (cocktail)

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IBA official cocktail
Aviation Cocktail.jpg
Aviation cocktail
Primary alcohol by volume
ServedStraight up; without ice
Standard garnishcherry
Standard drinkware
Cocktail Glass (Martini).svg
Cocktail glass
IBA specified
  • 1.5 oz gin
  • .5 oz creme de violette
  • .5 oz lemon juice
  • .5 oz maraschino liqueur
PreparationAdd all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
TimingAll day
Some recipes include crème de violette or Creme Yvette. dagger Aviation recipe at International Bartenders Association

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 purple 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]

Creme Yvette, a violet liqueur made with additional spices, is sometimes substituted for crème de violette.[5]

Related cocktails[edit]

  • The Aviation can be considered a variation on the Gin sour, using maraschino as its sweetener.[3]
  • The Blue Moon cocktail is made with gin, lemon juice, and crème de violette or Creme Yvette, without maraschino.[6]
  • The Moonlight cocktail is made with gin, lime juice, Cointreau, and 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. ^ a b Craddock, Harry (1930). The Savoy Cocktail Book. London: Constable & Co. p. 25. ISBN 978-1-62654-0644.
  4. ^ Regan, Gary (2003). The Joy of Mixology. New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers. p. 209. ISBN 0-609-60884-3.
  5. ^ "Spirits: We Want Creme Yvette!". The Washington Post. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Blue Moon Cocktail". The Washington Post. 2 April 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
  7. ^ Regan, Gary (28 September 2007). "The Cocktailian: Creme de violette lifts Aviation to the moon". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 4 April 2011.