Starring: The Classic Aviation & the Blackberry Bramble
The Aviation is a beautiful and complex gin cocktail. For starters, it is visually attractive and on top of that, delightfully aromatic. It’s a gin drink that makes you wonder what your qualms were with gin in the first place. I mean, what did gin ever do to you?
What's the story behind this refreshing classic? Well, let's dive right in.
Aviation/flight was at the forefront of most American minds because of the revolution in commercial air travel. This gin drink has a pinkish/blue/purplish hue that is reminiscent of open skies. From what I understand, air travel used to be pretty sexy and this gin cocktail is exactly that.
Unfortunately this drink fell into obscurity. As with many of its comrades, prohibition nearly buried it permanently. The Aviation made a slight comeback across the pond In 1930. The Savoy Cocktail Book was published in the UK and contained a recipe for the Aviation. Unfortunately the Savoy recipe left out creme de violette which was the key ingredient that provided the signature color and floral aroma of the Aviation. Around the same time violet liqueurs went out of production. So without a violet liqueur and country-wide ban on alcohol the Aviation was thrown into the junk drawer with all the other cocktails never to be sipped again.
Imbibe!, (my go-to book for all things cocktail knowledge) sites Hugo Ensslin as penning the first written account of the Aviation back in 1916. His recipe calls for creme de violette and describes a more enticing rendition than that talked about in later years. Ensslin compiled a book calledRecipes for Mixed Drinks.It contained over 400 recipes. The book also fell into obscurity due to Prohibition but has become an invaluable resource in recent years. The reasonRecipes for Mixed Drinksis still referenced 100+ years later is because this book gives a wonderful snapshot of what cocktail culture looked like before Prohibition pulled the rug out. Due to the work of some diligent cocktail enthusiasts and historians, violet liqueurs came back to the consumer market in the mid 2000s. So now we can consume Aviations the way it was initially intended.
And this May? Consume, we will.
Go ahead and sign up for your Commons Kit Membership before May 13th and we'll share the hot goss.
(Each Kit Serves 8)
Gold Rimmed Coupes:2 classic style coupe glasses with elegant stems and gold detail around the rim. If you’re not sippin’ outta gold, you’re doin’ it wrong.
Blackberry Cordial: Made from fresh blackberries, this cordial captures the fruity tartness you’d hope to have in your cocktails. It is based on a blackberry liqueur called Creme de Mure, which is a crucial ingredient in the Bramble.
Creme De Violette: A floral liqueur that adds color and flavor to your classic Aviation. Handmade from violets, butterfly pea flowers, sugar, citrus and neutral spirit.
Commons Cherries: Amarena cherries that have been soaked in aromatics and spices for your enjoyment. The perfect garnish and accompaniment to both cocktails in this month’s kit.
Lemon Concentrate: Just what you guessed. It’s lemon. But it’s concentrated. Lemon peels that have been macerated to extract the essential oils and then combined with lemon juice and citric acid. Perfect to give all the lemon essence without watering down your cocktail
Fresh Lemon: to make all your garnishing dreams come true
Fresh Rosemary: to garnish and aromatize your Bramble
How to measure ingredients | We will discuss why consistency is important to crafting cocktails and honing your skills.
How to Muddle | When to muddle. When not to muddle. Why you should muddle (in certain occasions)
How to properly use a cocktail shaker | learn how to shake a cocktail. We will also cover some alternative options for shaking if your shaker isn’t handy.
How to appropriately pair citrus with spirits | Just like cooking using the right citrus will bring out specific flavors in your base spirit.
How to peel citrus | Maximize your garnishes and flavor of your cocktail.
One of our passions at Cocktail Commons happens to be discovering things of old and making them new again. The Aviation is an oldie (but a goodie) that was nearly forgotten. After nearly 100 years of no one caring about this cocktail it has made its way back into the center of cocktail culture. The elegance and simplicity of the drink is what makes it notable. The devil is in the details and the devil, in this case, comes in the form of a violet based liqueur.
So cheers to you, the devil, and all his flowers.
You’re well on your way to a lovely craft cocktail and some knowledge that will serve you well on your bartending journey — now go get yourself a Commons Kit membership or one-time-kit and let's get mixing!
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