Today on Nouveau Prohibition…
I want to share my thoughts about the Aviation cocktail. It made a comeback, at least popularity-wise years ago and rapidly fell out of favor. The ingredients it features were a bit obscure at the time. Liquor companies saw a demand, as they do, then rose to meet it. I have a hunch it wooed many with originally hard to source components, a pretty color and a catchy name.
Some people genuinely enjoy the cocktail. I am one of those people. The key for me, is aged lemon juice and the careful selection of gin. Depending on what has influenced your palate over the years and how often you broaden it, you may experience different associations when tasting this cocktail for the first time. I have heard:
“It tastes like dish soap.”
“It smells like floor cleaner.”
“It reminds me of candies I grew up eating.”
“Oh, that’s different. In a good way.”
Wherever you sit on this fence, if you haven’t tried one, it is worth a taste. However, let me clarify that I do not believe that this cocktail justifies shelling out for Creme de Violette, which can be pricey. Find a good bartender or a friend with the obscure ingredient and have one; for fun.
Once you do that and make up your mind, try your hand with my riff. I named the new one, inspired by the old one, the Wing Walker. If you are not up to speed on aviation terminology, ‘wing walker’ is an individual on the ground assisting the aircraft to ensure there is ample space for clearance by walking on the wings.
Playing around with Aviation cocktail riffs, I wanted to create a libation that provided ample space for new gin drinkers to approach the spirit and seasoned gin drinkers to explore something new. Therefore, I found the name fitting. Feel free to let me know if you disagree.
2 ounces gin
.5 ounce maraschino liqueur (I prefer the Cristiani brand)
.25 ounce creme de violette
.75 ounce lemon juice
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker tin. Fill the shaker tin two-thirds of the way with ice. Shake for 20 seconds. Strain into a coupe. Garnish with a luxardo cherry.
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2 ounces jenever
.5 ounce maraschino liqueur
.25 ounce creme de cassis
.75 ounce citrus blend (equal parts lemon and lime juice)
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker tin. Fill the shaker tin two-thirds of the way with ice. Shake for 20 seconds. Strain over a fresh large cube of ice. Garnish with a flamed lemon peel.