Aviation Cocktail Recipe

One of my all time favorite classic cocktails from the early 1900’s. Gin, maraschino liqueur (cherry), crème de violette, and fresh lemon juice.

Aviation Cocktail Recipe

The Aviation cocktail will give you wings. Seriously. I stalked the Aviation cocktail for months before trying it at a local speakeasy. It’s got a slight violet hue and it’s nothing short of amazing. Half of the ingredients are ordinary, the other half are…say that again?

Aviation Cocktail Ingredients

The Aviation drink is a Prohibition-era martini, consisting of gin, maraschino liqueur (cherry), crème de violette, and fresh lemon juice. Certainly not your typical over-the-counter stock of liquor, but I promise you’ll put it to good use. 

The more I experiment with cocktails from the 1900’s, the more I appreciate the 1900’s in general (seriously, hear me out). It’s amazing to think that a lot of our favorite cocktails we drink today have stood the rigorous test of time so deliciously.

You probably don’t even consciously realize it, but your weekend go-to, be it the Margarita, Gin and Tonic, Cosmopolitan, Old Fashioned, you name it, was probably created by a bartender nearly 100 years ago. These drinks feel mainstream until you really think about the history. But why are some cocktails so popular while others seem like forgotten treasures?

The Aviation is one of those unheard of treasures (very similar to the last word). It’s a cocktail you’ve probably also never heard of, but need to get to know RIGHT now. Up until a year ago, I had never heard of the Aviation. I started to see it in TV shows, online, in restaurants, EVERYWHERE. It’s one of those things you don’t notice until you actually notice it—and then you see it all over the place.

The Aviation cocktail is smooth, flowery, assertive, yet sweet. Like nothing you’ve ever tasted—so I honestly don’t know what to compare it to. The key ingredient is Luxardo, maraschino liqueur. It adds a very subtle boozy, cherry finish. It’s worth picking up because it appears in so many other classic craft cocktails. If you don’t believe me, you can read a whole host of cocktails here.

Give the Aviation a shot and see if you sink or soar. It’s one of those cocktails, Patty and I can both agree on. I’m whiskey, she’s fruity, this one is right down the middle and sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Aviation Cocktail Recipe
Aviation Cocktail Recipe

Aviation Cocktail Recipe

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 1x



  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounces maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)
  • 1/4 ounce crème de violette
  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients (except the cherry) in a cocktail shaker with a cup of ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Recipe credit: POPSUGAR