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Beth Martin
March 15, 2017 | Beth Martin

The Aviation Cocktail


The Aviation

Proof that the Sky's the Limit

The early 1900’s were an exciting and innovative time in history. They ushered in the rise of aviation as manned “aero planes” took flight for the first time. The men and women who took to the skies became heroes to those watching from below. These new planes and pilots paved the way for commercial flights, and brought the four corners of the earth together as never before. Naming a cocktail after this revolutionary time was the least that could be done. The Aviation is believed to be one of the last great Pre-Prohibition Era Cocktails.
Initially thought to have been created in the 1930’s, the Aviation was made with Gin, Lemon Juice, and Maraschino Liqueur. It wasn’t until rather recently that an original recipe for the Aviation was found in a copy of Recipes for Mixed Drinks by Hugo Ensslin, written in 1916. This not only showed that the Aviation was older than previously thought, but also provided us with a fourth, previously unknown ingredient. The original 1916 recipe called for a small amount of Crème De Violette. With the addition of this rare spirit, not only was there a great deal of intricacy added to the cocktail, but the entire aromatics profile was changed.


The Elusive Creme De Violette

Previously difficult to obtain in the United States, Crème De Violette is a sweet liqueur made with Violet flowers. Thoughthe name suggests the addition of cream, the word Crème refers to the silky smooth texture and feel of the liqueur. In true NVD form, we decided to break from tradition just enough to stand out from the crowd. Our Crème de Violette is made from a base of Neutral Brandy, and includes three additional botanicals to complement the Violets and add complexity. We also decided to bottle it at a higher ABV than other Crème De Violettes, allowing it to highlight any cocktail in an elegant fashion. Finally, we used natural means to add the distinctive color, ensuring that our Crème De Violette makes its presence known in any cocktail, and on any bar!


The Napa Valley Distillery Aviation


2oz NVD Old Hollywood Ginn*

.75oz Maraschino Liqueur

.5oz fresh lemon juice

.25oz Creme De Violette*


 Lemon twist

Luxardo Maraschino Cherry (optional)


Add optional Maraschino Cherry to a coupe glass. Add all ingredients and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into prepared glass. Garnish, and serve. Enjoy and repeat responsibly!





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