- Maraschino Liqueur
- Crème de Violette
Fly high into the world of Prohibition Era cocktails with the classic Aviation! It’s unlike any other cocktail on our menu as it introduces a floral dimension to the drinking experience with its violet liqueur. It’s an elevated version of the Gin Sour, using the traditional lemon juice for its citrus, but substituting Maraschino liqueur for simple syrup as its sweetener.
Anybody who enjoys taking photos of the things they eat and drink knows it’s not all about the taste, though. The Aviation is extremely camera-friendly thanks to the beautiful hue it takes on from the crème de violette. It’s a cocktail that truly looks as good as it tastes.
The Aviation was almost lost to history, at least in this country. While it’s a truly classic cocktail, it comes off as new to imbibers since the ability to create the authentic recipe disappeared for over half a century. The cocktail was invented in the early years of the 20th century and first showed up in a 1916 cocktail book called Recipes for Mixed Drinks by Hugh Enslinn of the Hotel Wallick in New York City. That was just in time for glass upon glass of Aviations to be knocked back throughout Prohibition and for years after.
While it’s a truly classic cocktail, it comes off as new to imbibers since the ability to create the authentic recipe disappeared for over half a century.
Then, tragedy struck. The major producer of crème de violette shut down and the liqueur vanished from the American market in the 1960s. Cocktails were forgotten, substitutes were suggested, but the authentic versions of any cocktail with this violet liquid nearly faded away for good. Even during Prohibition the liqueur was apparently hard to come by as famous bartenders like Harry Craddock left it out of their printed recipes.
Have no fear! The Aviation has soared back into fashion. In 2007, an importer in Minneapolis called Haus Alpenz brought crème de violette back to the United States right as the popularity of craft, historical cocktails exploded back into fashion. The original Aviation has touched back down and it looks like it’s here for good. Who knew an old drink could feel so new?
We have no inside information that crème de violette is going to perform an encore on its vanishing act, but it’s best not to take the chance. If a complex, balanced glass of floral delight sounds like heaven to you, ask the next bartender you see to stir up an Aviation for you today.