Aviation (cocktail)

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IBA official cocktail
Aviation Cocktail.jpg
Base spirit
ServedStraight up: chilled, without ice
Standard garnishcherry
Standard drinkware
Cocktail Glass (Martini).svg
Cocktail glass
IBA specified
PreparationAdd all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
Commonly servedAll day
Some recipes include crème de violette or Creme Yvette. dagger Aviation recipe at International Bartenders Association

The aviation is a 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 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]
  • Takumi's aviation is made with gin, maraschino liqueur, parfait d'amour, and lemon juice. The drink was created by the Japanese bartender Takumi Watanabe. It was recorded in Gary Regan's The Joy of Mixology (2017).[8]

See also[edit]

 Drink portal icon Liquor portal


  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.
  8. ^ "Takumi's Aviation". Gary Regan. 26 April 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2022.