I first heard of an Aviation cocktail in Victoria last October. I was in town for the Art of the Cocktail festival where I toured Victoria Spirits (makers of Victoria Gin) on the Saanich Peninsula. I asked gin distiller Peter Hunt what his favourite gin cocktail was. His answer: “An Aviation.”
Upon returning to Calgary I wrote a Spirited Calgary cocktail column called Tempting gin cocktails. I wanted to include an Aviation but didn’t want to purchase its obscure ingredients. So imagine my delight to discover an Aviation on the menu at Milk Tiger Lounge last week.
The pre-prohibition recipe favoured by Milk Tiger bartender Nathan Head includes Creme de Violette, which adds the lovely lavender hue pictured above.
I already love gin with lemon juice (hello, Tom Collins), and the floral and sweet notes of the Creme de Violette offset the tart lemon and enhance the gin. You just need a little Creme de Violette, ditto the sweet maraschino liqueur. In a word — love — and I’m glad I finally understand why gin-lovers adore this drink.
- 1-1/2 oz gin
- 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
- 1/4 oz Creme de Violette (Giffard brand)
- 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a brandied or maraschino cherry (a good homemade one, or a brand like Luxardo, not the scary red ones).
— Recipe courtesy Nathan Head, Milk Tiger Lounge