Aviation (cocktail)

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


Standard drinkware
Cocktail Glass (Martini).svg
Cocktail glass
IBA specified ingredients*
Preparation Add all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
Some recipes include crème de violette or Creme Yvette.

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] 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.[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, can be substituted in versions that call for crème de violette.[5]

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 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. ^ 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. ^ "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.