Friday, June 20, 2008

aviation (1916 variant)

3 oz gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz maraschino liqueur
1/4 oz creme de violette

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry or lemon twist.

Another Aviation variant appears in this blog here.

Last night, Andrea and I went to the Forest Hills Educational Trust's summer solstice event. Besides guided walking and trolley tours, there was also food and drink. Some of the drink was provided by the lovely ladies of LUPEC. Both Fancy Brandy and Pinky Gonzales were on hand to mix up Aviations for the guests.

The description of the cocktail they had was, "The first recipe for the Aviation to be found in print was in 1916, in Recipes for Mixed Drinks by Hugo Ensslin. This original Aviation calls for the addition of violet flower liqueur. The drink today is widely made without the violet and is sometimes referred to as Aviation No. 2. Both are nice, but we find the original to be superior and most heavenly."

It did feel rather decadent to step on to the trolley with a cocktail in hand as well as take the walking tour with yet another Aviation in tow. The freedom of walking around in the outdoors or in what seems like a public space with certain beverages is such a rarity, and having a cocktail named after freedom from restraint of the ground was an interesting parallel.

The LUPEC rationale for this cocktail was based on one of the people buried in the cemetery. We were re-introduced to his grave marker during the walking tour and our tour guide gave a bit of the history. The flier that the ladies provided gave their reasons for being fascinated in the person and the site, "We've selected the Aviation for our vintage cocktail tonight in memory of Edward (Teddy) Thaw, Jr., a dashing aviator who is memorialized at Forest Hills with a splendid Art Deco-style portrait by sculptor Jerome Brush. Thaw is depicted with a silk scarf around his neck, holding his helmet and gogles. The winged Archangel Michael stands at his side." Their description also includes the scandal revolving around Teddy's uncle who killed his wife's (ex- ?)lover; the lover a famous architect and she a famous showgirl of the day.


dfan said...

That's a large cocktail!

I use Dale DeGroff's proportions: 2 oz gin, 1 oz Maraschino, 3/4 oz lemon juice (I think the book actually says 2/4 and I decided it was a misprint). It's the most Maraschino-heavy of the recipes I've seen, so maybe not for everyone.

frederic said...

The recipe was for a large cocktail, indeed, but it was made up in batch so each serving was a medium-small cocktail glassful. Some of the older recipes I've seen have been pretty absurd even compared to this (like 6 oz of liquor).

And with all of the variations I've heard of, it's no wonder No. 9 Park here in Boston does an Aviation flight as a historical perspective on the cocktail (I believe that the recipe I posted is what No. 9 uses as part of their flight).