Boozy Refreshing Aviation Cocktail with Gin and Violette Liquor
Food - Drink
Aviation: The Flowery Cocktail That Was Nearly Forgotten
Pre-Prohibition era cocktails like the Aviation may not be wildly trendy, but this purple-hued, gin-based drink was saved from total obscurity to become an American classic.
Prohibition almost spelled doom for the Aviation. The drink caught on in America in the early 20 century, and in 1916, New York bartender Hugo Ensslin wrote an official recipe.
Gin, lemon juice, Maraschino, and Crème de Violette went into Ensslin's recipe, but three years later in 1919, Prohibition erased countless cocktails from daily American life.
Luckily, Harry Craddock, a U.K. bartender and author of iconic cocktail guide "The Savoy Cocktail Book," saved this delicious and beautiful drink from being forgotten forever.
Craddock went from the U.S. to London when Prohibition went into effect, and at his shop The Savoy, he proudly served the Aviation, though without hard-to-find Crème de Violette.
The 21st century cocktail renaissance created renewed interest in the Aviation. Bartenders tried to bring back the cocktail's fitting sky-like color without using Crème de Violette.
Blue- and violet-hued liqueurs like Crème Yvette and Parfait d'Amour were used until 2007, when growing demand for Crème de Violette among bartenders brought it back to the U.S.
A U.S. distributor began importing the European liqueur, an elixir made with Alpine native wildflowers. Today, you can now enjoy an authentic Aviation as it was in the 1910s.
This lovely floral drink that was once at risk of being forgotten is now one of the International Bartenders Association's "Unforgettables," classic drinks that demand respect.