The Aviation Cocktail

The Aviation Cocktail

The Aviation Cocktail first appears in Hugo Ensslin's 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Between this and The Blue Moon Cocktail, you have the two classic Crème de Violette recipes. If you don't have a bottle these two drinks and one further variation, The Moonlight Cocktail, will have you converted. Ensslin's original recipe:

1/3 Lemon Juice
2/3 El Bart Gin
2 dashes Maraschino
2 dashes Crème de Violette
Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve."

 This makes not only a sour drink, but one slightly lacking in the delicacy and beauty of the Crème de Violette and Maraschino. In Harry Craddock's 1930 "Savoy Cocktail Book"  Omits the Violette entirely(!) - it's unbalanced, and lacking.

Henry, our master distiller and resident mixologist, choice of recipe:

Foolish Aviation Cocktail
1 1/2 Shot (45ml) Foolish Gin
1/2 Shot (15ml) Crème de Violette/Crème Yvette
1/2 Shot (15ml) Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 Shot (15ml) Fresh Lemon Juice
SHAKE over ice.
FINE STRAIN and SERVE straight up in a coup/cocktail glass.
GARNISH with a lemon twist.

There is also another liqueur that pops up Crème Yvette - this is another Violet based liqueur, but with other spices added, and can be substituted in place of the Violette in any of these recipes. Yvette bottles used to have a recipe printed on the bottle for a Blue Moon Cocktail, a variation of an Aviation. However the resultant cocktail has a pinkish hue, which does make one wonder if the Blue Moon was originally made with Violette, the resultant drinks stunning blueish grey tones make one think of late nights and early mornings, covered by mist and artificially lit. Crème Yvette capitalising on the popularity of the Blue Moon Cocktail as more of a marketing exercise.

The original Blue Moon Cocktail was apparently created in 1940 by Oscar of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, supposed creator of the Waldorf Salad and Eggs Benedict!

The Blue Moon Cocktail
 2 Shots (60ml) Foolish Gin
1/3 Shot (10ml) Creme de Violette/Creme Yvette
1/3 Shot (10ml) Fresh Lemon Juice
1/6 Shot (5ml) Sugar Syrup (2:1)
SHAKE over ice.
FINE STRAIN and SERVE straight up in a coup/cocktail glass.
GARNISH with a raspberry.

Crème de Violette and Crème Yvette were extremely hard to come by for a number of years, and so these drinks which used it, went horribly out of fashion. The Aviation and The Blue Moon Cocktail disappeared for a number of years, thankfully, both have recently been revived. So these drinks can live on. There is one further recipe variation, however, that's worth trying:

Gaz Regan's Moonlight Cocktail
1 1/2 Shot (45ml) Foolish Gin
1/2 Shot (15ml) Cointreau
1/2 Shot (15ml) Crème de Violette
1/2 Shot (12ml) Fresh Lime Juice
SHAKE over ice.
FINE STRAIN and SERVE straight up in a champagne flute

(P.S. Henry says to try substituting Grand Marnier for the Cointreau, which gives the drink an additional subtle element.)