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How to Make a Classic Aviation Cocktail: Aviation Recipe

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Nov 8, 2020 • 1 min read

The Aviation cocktail recipe was one of the early cult classics of mixology. With its distinct purple color and floral notes, the Aviation was a popular cocktail for a short time. However, the cocktail features a few key, but rare, liqueurs which makes the Aviation more a specialty drink rather than a common cocktail.



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What Is the History of the Aviation Cocktail?

The Aviation cocktail is a drink that has been around since the early twentieth century. Its original recipe, according to Hugo Ensslin’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks (1916), called for gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice. This classic cocktail experienced ups and downs in popularity, but never fully disappeared from the bartending scene due to its appearance in another influential tome, Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930). A variety of other bartending books featured a recipe for this classic gin cocktail, but they did not include the rare crème de violette, which some argue is what makes it a true aviation recipe.

The drink experienced a revival in the late 1990s when the art of mixology made a return, and with more access to floral liqueurs, the classic purple drink came back into the scene.

Aviation Recipe

1 cocktail
Prep Time
3 min
Total Time
3 min


  • 2 ounces gin
  • ¼ ounce maraschino liqueur
  • ¼ ounce crème de violette
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry or flamed lemon peel
  1. Prepare a chilled Martini glass and gather the gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and pour in ingredients.
  3. Shake well.
  4. Strain into the Martini glass.
  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry or lemon peel.

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