Some cocktails should never change. Their formulas were perfected a century ago and no amount of modern mixology will improve them.
The aviation is not one of those cocktails.
I find the original turn-of-the-century formula—gin and lemon juice with maraschino and violet liqueurs—too bitter and dry. Maraschino liqueur (see this month’s Spirits Close-Up) is semi-sweet, but in such a small amount, it can’t be the only sugar in a gin sour. You’ll need an extra spot of simple syrup for balance. The liqueur de violette gives the drink its hazy blue color, like dusky clouds at 38,000 feet.
Ian Lowther makes a killer aviation at the new Red Rabbit on Washington Avenue. He made your Kind-of-a-Big-Deal award-winning cocktail in 2016 (the MosCow Mule) and now he’s compiled a hard bound volume of classics at Red Rabbit. His aviation is balanced, and the nuanced floral notes of Tempus Fugit are like a burst of spring on a dreary February.
- 2 ounces gin
- ⅔ ounce lemon juice
- ⅓ ounce simple syrup
- ⅓ ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur (See this month’s Spirits Close-Up)
- 1 teaspoon Tempus Fugit Liqueur de Violettes
Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a coupe glass. No garnish.