The Aviation was created by Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at New York's Hotel Wallick back in the early twentieth century. The first published recipe for the drink appeared in Ensslin's 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks. Ensslin's recipe called for 1½ oz. El Bart gin, ¾ oz. lemon juice, 2 dashes Maraschino Liqueur, and 2 dashes crème de violette, a violet liqueur which gives the cocktail a pale sky blue color. In 1930, The Savoy Cocktail Book omitted the crème de violette as it had fallen out of fashion, but lucky for us, crèmes are in vogue again with the re-emergence of hand crafted spirits.
2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz crème de violette
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass.
For more great gin cocktails, stay tuned for upcoming episodes of The Savory with bartender Pete Capella, who will teach you how to make these gin drinks in your home bar.