*Recent ruminations from LUPEC Boston, originally published in the Weekly Dig.
by Pink Lady
Who doesn’t love an Aviation? This drink is a tremendous cocktail that has been thankfully resurrected in recent years by classic cocktail cognoscenti. The drink recipe was first published in How to Mix Drinks by Hugo Ensslin, the German-born head bartender at the Wallick House Hotel in Times Square. His was the last cocktail manual to hit bookshelves before Prohibition begat the great drought in America (and now recently available in reprinted form from Mud Puddle Books.) Many consider this drink one of the last great cocktails to be invented before the Noble Experiment.
The Aviation has made a glorious comeback in the past five or so years and graces the cocktail list of many a fine drinking establishment from coast to coast in 2010. The formula, however, is slightly different than the original mixture. You’ll typically find this drink made following the 1930 recipe that Harry Craddock ran in his tome, the Savoy Cocktail book, which features gin, lemon juice, and Maraschino liqueur.
The aforementioned recipe makes a fine drink, to be sure. But Ensslin’s pre-Prohibition recipe used two liqueurs to give this concoction wings: Maraschino and Crème Yvette. The latter has been unavailable in the states until very recently, making this classic potation’s name a mystery. Add a hint of the new-old violet-hued Crème Yvette recently released from Cooper Spirits (or Crème de Violette if you can’t find it), and the drink takes on a sky blue hue. Aviation was still very new back in 1916 and a hot topic, thus a perfect candidate for a cocktail name.
We suggest you sidle up to any bar that stocks Crème Yvette or Crème de Violette and sample the original recipe today, just because you can.
.75 oz lemon juice
1.5 oz dry gin
2 dashes Maraschino
2 dashes Crème Yvette
Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into your favorite vintage cocktail glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.