Aviation is a classic gin-based cocktail that typically mixes gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice. This American cocktail is known for its striking blueish-purple hue, floral and citrusy flavor, and perfect balance of sweet and sour.

Aviation recipe

  • 45 ml gin
  • 15 ml lemon juice
  • 15 ml maraschino liqueur
  • 1 barspoon crème de violette

Add all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Directions for how to make the Aviation

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add 45 ml of gin to the shaker.
  3. Add 15 ml of lemon juice to the shaker.
  4. Add 15 ml of maraschino liqueur to the shaker.
  5. Add a barspoon (approximately 1/8 tsp) of crème de violette to the shaker.
  6. Shake the mixture well, ensuring that all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
  7. Using a strainer, pour the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  8. Garnish the cocktail with a cherry.
  9. Serve and enjoy the Aviation cocktail!

Tips for how to make the perfect Aviation

  • Use fresh, quality ingredients. A classic Aviation cocktail is made with gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, and crème de violette. Make sure your gin is of good quality and your lemon juice is freshly squeezed.
  • Measure your ingredients carefully. The perfect Aviation drink requires a delicate balance of flavors, so it’s important to measure your ingredients with precision. Use a jigger or measuring cup to ensure that you’re adding the right amount of each ingredient.
  • Shake vigorously. The Aviation drink should be well-shaken with ice to create a frothy texture and ensure that the flavors meld together. Shake for at least 15 seconds until the drink is ice-cold and the shaker is frosted.
  • Strain carefully. Once you’ve shaken your Aviation cocktail, strain it through a fine mesh strainer to remove any ice chips or pulp from the lemon juice. This will help give your drink a smooth, velvety texture.
  • Garnish with a cherry. A classic Aviation is traditionally garnished with a Luxardo cherry, which adds a sweet and slightly bitter note to the drink. You can also add a lemon twist for a bit of extra citrus flavor.

Alcohol-free alternative to the Aviation

An alcohol-free alternative to the Aviation cocktail could be a mocktail made with lavender syrup, fresh lemon juice, and sparkling water.


  • 1 oz lavender syrup
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 3 oz sparkling water
  • Ice
  • Lavender sprig, for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the lavender syrup and fresh lemon juice.

  2. Add ice to the shaker and shake well.

  3. Strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice.

  4. Top the mixture with sparkling water.

  5. Garnish with a lavender sprig and enjoy your alcohol-free alternative to the Aviation cocktail!

Aviation fun facts

  • The Aviation was created in the early 1900s by bartender Hugo Ensslin, who worked at the Hotel Wallick in New York City.
  • The drink was almost lost to history until it was rediscovered and popularized in the early 2000s by Seattle bartender Murray Stenson.
  • The name “Aviation” is a nod to the recently-developed aviation industry at the time, as well as the drink’s light blue color reminiscent of the sky.
  • The traditional recipe for an Aviation calls for gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice, although variations exist.
  • The Aviation has been featured in pop culture, including in the 2011 movie “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and the TV show “Mad Men.”