This four ingredient classic aviation cocktail recipe is light, bright, and floral! It's best known for its indigo hue and citrus flavor.
Indigo cocktails are all the rage right now, and this classic gin cocktail fits the bill. It's the perfect blend of sweet and tart, plus it's super pretty!
Why you'll love it
- This mixed drink from the 1900’s is back and here to stay.
- It's fun to experiment with new drink recipes and liqueurs!
- An aviation gin cocktail is perfect for happy hour at home, girls night, or late night drinks.
- It looks impressive with its sky-blue / lavender color.
What is an aviation cocktail?
The aviation cocktail history dates back to the early twentieth century. It was created by Hugo Ensslin at the Hotel Wallick in New York.
This retro cocktail combines gin, maraschino liqueur, creme de violette, and fresh lemon juice.
Cocktail shaker bar set: This stainless steel shaker comes with a measuring jigger and mixing spoon.
Double cocktail jigger: Perfect for home bar beginners!
Be sure to track down all the ingredients and measure precisely.
- Gin: Use your favorite dry gin as the base of this cocktail.
- Maraschino Liqueur: Luxardo maraschino liqueur imparts its bittersweet cherry flavor.
- Crème de Violette: Rothman & Winter crème de violette is a liqueur made from violet flower petals. It gives the aviation its iconic color.
- Lemon Juice: This ingredient adds acidity to cut through the sweetness. I recommend using fresh citrus juice.
How to make an aviation cocktail
This cocktail is super simple to make! Just shake ingredients together with ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass.
Serve aviation straight up, without ice, in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel or maraschino cherry.
Frequently asked questions
To make a homemade aviation, shake 1 ½ ounces dry gin, ½ ounce maraschino liqueur, ½ ounce fresh lemon juice, and ¼ ounce creme de violette with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist or single maraschino cherry.
It was originally created with El-Bart gin, however you can use your favorite dry gin. Beefeater and Bombay Sapphire are popular choices, as well as Citadelle because of its light flavor profile. I like using Empress Gin, due to its indigo hue from butterfly pea blossom and traditional citrus notes. Check out these simple Empress Gin cocktails!
To make a clean aviation cocktail, replace the gin with vodka and add a dash of absinthe.
Creme de violet contains no cream or dairy! It's a sweet floral liqueur with either a brandy base, a neutral spirit base, or a combination of the two.
Want more easy cocktail recipes? Check these out next:
- Negroni Cocktail
- Aperol Spritz Recipe
- Classic Margarita Up
- Paloma Cocktail
- Texas Ranch Water
- Pickleback Cocktail
- Bloody Mary Cocktail
- Champagne Cocktail
Aviation Cocktail Recipe
- 1 ½ ounces gin
- ½ ounce maraschino liqueur
- ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
- ¼ ounce crème de violette
- Add the gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, and crème de violette to a cocktail shaker. Fill it with ice and shake it until cold. Strain into a cocktail glass.