Whew, that holiday season was something else. I need a drink.

Yes, I probably should have prepared myself to post this before New Year’s Eve. You know, while everyone is party planning and cocktail drinking and holiday bingeing. Before everyone stops eating all things delicious in a flurry of New Year’s cleanses and resolutions.

But you know what? My holiday season was BUSY this year. I could use a drink. A stiff one.

Onto the Aviation. I first discovered this martini-of-sorts at the wee beginning of the craft cocktail movement. At the time, the bar was coined as serving “prohibition era cocktails” before everything under the sun became a craft. It was purple (my favorite color), but not some sugared-down thing trying to be a cocktail like an Appletini or some such nonsense. This is a real cocktail, not juice with a shot in it served in a martini glass.

There is one annoyance with the Aviation: it uses not one but two annoyingly obscure liqueurs in annoyingly tiny amounts. Get rid of them, though, and you’re just drinking gin with lemon juice.

Do not doubt me, however, when I say that you will only ever buy one bottle of Luxardo and one bottle of creme de violette in your entire life. The creme de violette is a little harder to find, however, a large liquor store with a robust selection should carry Rothman & Winter’s version of the liqueur, complete with a sweeping description of how special Austrian violets are on the back. Special enough to drink, apparently.

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liquer Luxardo
  • 1/4 ounce creme de violette
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • maraschino cherry for garnish
  1. Pour the liquids into a shaker filled with ice. Shake, and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with the cherry. Alternatively, you can get a little piece of orange peel and burn it with a lighter and garnish with that, if you feel so inclined.


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