Aviation Cocktail Recipe

Tired of serving the same old cocktails at your parties? The Aviation cocktail is a sophisticated choice that combines gin, maraschino liqueur, and crème de violette for a refreshing and intriguing flavor. Here, we’ll show you how to master this drink and add a touch of elegance to your next gathering, impressing your friends with your mixology skills.


To make an Aviation Cocktail, you need a few key pieces of equipment:

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Strainer
  • Jigger (for measuring)
  • Ice
  • Cocktail glass or coupe glass

A cocktail shaker helps you mix and chill the ingredients. Use a good quality strainer to ensure a smooth pour. Combine these with a jigger to measure ingredients accurately.


Gather the ingredients for a balanced and flavorful Aviation Cocktail:

  • 2 oz gin
  • 0.5 oz maraschino liqueur
  • 0.25 oz crème de violette
  • 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • Brandied cherry or lemon twist for garnish

Using fresh lemon juice and high-quality liqueurs ensures the best taste. The brandied cherry or lemon twist adds a visual and flavorful finishing touch.


Follow these steps to create the perfect Aviation Cocktail:

  1. Add gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice to a shaker.
  2. Fill the shaker with ice.
  3. Shake the shaker vigorously for 15-20 seconds. The shaker should feel cold to the touch.
  4. Strain the contents into a cocktail or coupe glass.
  5. Garnish with a brandied cherry or a lemon twist.

Shaking the cocktail well blends the ingredients and chills the drink properly. The garnish not only enhances the look but also the flavor.

Tasting Notes

The Aviation Cocktail is a feast for the senses. You’ll notice a floral aroma, mainly from the crème de violette.

On the first sip, the gin brings a juniper-forward taste, balanced by the sweetness of maraschino liqueur and the tartness of lemon juice. The crème de violette imparts a subtle floral note that lingers.

This cocktail is well-balanced and refreshing, ideal for sipping slowly.

Similar Cocktails

Explore other classic cocktails similar to the Aviation:

  • Bee’s Knees: Gin, lemon juice, honey syrup.
  • Last Word: Gin, lime juice, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur.
  • Corpse Reviver #2: Gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, absinthe rinse.

Each of these cocktails shares some core ingredients with the Aviation and offers a unique twist on gin-based drinks.


The Aviation Cocktail was created in the early 20th century. Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York, invented it.

The original recipe included crème de violette, which eventually fell out of favor, leading some modern recipes to omit it.

This cocktail sees a resurgence in popularity, thanks to a renewed interest in classic cocktails and the reintroduction of crème de violette.

Quick Pro Tips

Ensure the best results with these pro tips:

  • Chill your glass in the freezer before making the drink.
  • Use fresh lemon juice for the brightest flavor.
  • Shake vigorously to properly mix and chill the ingredients.
  • Strain twice for a smooth cocktail, free of ice shards.
  • Garnish just before serving to keep the garnish fresh and vibrant.

When to Serve

The Aviation Cocktail is versatile in its serving occasions.

You can serve it at elegant dinner parties, as it pairs well with appetizers and light dishes. It’s also perfect for a sophisticated brunch or a laid-back afternoon with friends.

Consider this cocktail for special celebrations or intimate gatherings where a classic, refined drink is appreciated.

Experiment with different times and settings to find what suits your style and preferences.

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