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The Aviation, a Classic Cocktail

The Aviation Cocktail

A Little History about the Aviation

The Aviation is from the gin sour family of cocktails. The Wright Brothers first flights and as a result the frenzy with air travel in America prompted this gin sour’s name.

Hugo Ensslin, a 30-year-old German born, is the creator of The Aviation. In addition, Ensslin was also head bartender at the Wallick House Hotel in Times Square, New York.

The recipe makes its first literary appearance in Ensslin’s 1917 book, Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Significantly Ensslins book was the last major cocktail book published prior to the Prohibition 1920 in the U.S.

By 1930 Crème de Violette which Ensslen used was off the ingredients list as a result of Harry Craddock book, The Savoy Cocktail Book. Some enthusiasts believe the ingredient missed mistakingly when Craddock ‘borrowed’ the recipe off Ensslin. At the same time, there are those that believe Craddock intending to upgrade the cocktail left the ingredient out.

The Crème de Violette gives more complexity in taste and also the unique hue of the cocktail.


  • 45ml Gin
  • 20 ml Fresh lemon juice
  • 15 ml maraschino
  • 15 ml Crème de Violette


  • Add ingredients into a glass.
  • Fill the glass with ice to the top.
  • Stir until the drink is chilled.
  • Strain into a pre-chilled glass.
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry.