Aviation Cocktail Recipe

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 cocktail bar. It’s a Prohibition-era martini, consisting of gin, maraschino liqueur (cherry), crème de violette, and fresh lemon juice. 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?

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.

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. It’s a cocktail you’ve probably 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 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.

Want to try out this cocktail? Get all the ingredients delivered within the hour by Drizly!Aviation Cocktail Recipe

Aviation Cocktail Recipe

5.0 from 4 reviews
Aviation Cocktail Recipe
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 1½ ounces gin
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounces maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)
  • ¼ 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


  1. Dorcas Thomas

    By the way, I’ll try the aviation cocktail, looks interesting

  2. Dave Robinson

    Great recipe and commentary. The aviation is one of my go to’s if not in mood for straight gin martini.

  3. I have had this cocktail several times (one of my favorites) and tried various recipes–this one, by far, is THE best! Thank you for sharing!

  4. THIS is THE BEST Aviation recipe ! The balances are perfect Shawn. Thank you !

  5. My FAVORITE cocktail! So yummy. Using the actual Luxardo maraschino cherries make this cocktail that much better, too!

  6. Where did you fine Creme De Violette? What brand please.

    • I’m not OP, but a few brands that come to mind are Rothman & Winter and Monin. Creme Yvette is delicious too, but it’s got additional flavors besides the violet (honey, vanilla(?), some other stuff) which may make it tricker to combine with other spirits.

    • I use Rothman & Winter and really like it. I bought mine at a liquor outlet in New Hampshire.

  7. Thanks! I’ve been hosting a Valentine decorating party for many years. It has evolved into a
    Galentine Swapmeet with cocktails. I’ll be serving these this year. (past years included Sir Isaac Newton per Garden and Gun, Manhattans, and my own recipe of Frose’)

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