Invented around 1911 by bartender Hugo R. Ensslus at the Hotel Wallick in New York as a variation on the Gin Sour, the Aviation relies on maraschino and crème de violette. That latter ingredient nearly killed the drink outright. Made by steeping violets in wine or raw spirits, crème de violette was omitted from the The Savoy Cocktail Book version of the recipe in 1930, with the resulting concoction a dismal shell of its former self. To add injury to insult, by 1960, crème de violette could not even be purchased in the United States. Indeed, the Aviation was long buried when, in 2007, in response to the burgeoning craft cocktail movement, Rothman & Winter released a classic crème de violette in the U.S. for the first time in more than 40 years. David Wondrich’s inclusion of the cocktail in his book Imbibe! officially brought the Aviation Cocktail back from cocktail purgatory for a modern audience.
Mix it Up
Depending on your taste for sweet or sour, feel free to tweak the ratios of crème de violette to lemon juice.
Recommended Gins: Beefeater, Tanqueray, Plymouth, Bombay London Dry
The Blue Hawaii wasn’t named after the Elvis movie, like you might expect. In fact, the drink predates the film by four years. Bartender Harry Yee created the cocktail in 1957 while he was working at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. A Bols sales representative came to Yee asking for a drink made with the company’s blue curaçao liqueur...