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, born during the golden era of mixology, is a true gem that has stood the test of time. It bares a slight violet hue and it’s nothing short of amazing.

The Aviation is a Prohibition-era martini, consisting of gin, maraschino liqueur (cherry liqueur), crème de violette, and fresh lemon juice. The cocktail is said to have been created by Hugo Ensslin, who at the time was head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York City.

The Aviation was first published in Ensslin’s 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks, cocktail book. The ingredients have remained the same with only slight variations in the parts. Since then, it has become a staple in bars and cocktail lounges around the world.

Aviation Ingredients

When mixed properly, the Aviation strikes a perfect balance between sweet, tart, and floral. The gin provides a strong backbone, while the maraschino liqueur adds a touch of sweetness and complexity. The lemon juice brings a refreshing tang that cuts through the richness, and the crème de violette ties it all together with its delicate floral aroma.

Combine all parts in a cocktail shaker with a large cup of ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled coupe glass with a brandied cherry. 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. This one is right down the middle and sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

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Aviation Cocktail Recipe
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Aviation Cocktail Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Cuisine: American


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


  • 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.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 160
  • Sugar: 12.3g
  • Sodium: 4mg
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.4g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 0.1g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: aviation cocktail