The Aviation cocktail a turn of the century classic cocktail was created by Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York. The gin based recipe was first published in Ensslin’s 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Ensslin’s recipe called for 1½ oz. El Bart gin, ¾ oz. lemon juice, 2 dashes maraschino liqueur, and 2 dashes crème de violette, a violet liqueur which gives the cocktail a pale purple color. Omitting the cherry liquor changes the drink into a blue moon which is a grey color.
Harry Craddock’s influential Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) omitted the crème de violette, calling for a mixture of two-thirds dry gin, one-third lemon juice, and two dashes of maraschino.Many bartenders have followed Craddock’s lead, leaving out the difficult-to-find violet liqueur.
Creme Yvette, a violet liqueur made with additional spices, can be substituted in versions that call for crème de violette.
2 ounces gin
1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce creme de violette
Flamed lemon peel for garnish