how to make an aviation cocktail

The Aviation cocktail is a classic martini from the early 20th century. It does contain some uncommon ingredients such the Maraschino liqueur and the Crème de Violette. The drink is pale blue in color and taste refreshing because of the lemon juice. The drink is always served straight up in a martini glass.

The recipe for Aviation cocktail first appeared in Recipes for Mixed Drinks, by Hugo Ensslin in 1916. It has had many variations since then. Some of the later recipes completely omitted the Crème de Violette, mostly because it was hard to find at the time.


  • 2 shots of Gin
  • 1/2 shot of Maraschino liqueur
  • 1/2 shot of lime juice
  • 1/4 shot of Crème de Violette
  • One Maraschino cherry for garnish


  1. Add several ice cubes into a cocktail shaker
  2. Add 2 shots of Gin into the shaker
  3. Add 1/2 shot of Maraschino liqueur into the shaker
  4. Add 1/4 shot of Crème de Violette into the shaker
  5. Add 1/2 shot of freshly squeezed lemon juice into the shaker
  6. Shake the contents of the shaker well till it is cold
  7. Strain the contents of the shaker into a chilled martini glass
  8. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.
Aviation Drink with Gin

Variations and Similar Drinks

Many of the variations of this recipe, usually using the same name do not use the Crème de Violette.

Blue Moon Cocktail: Maraschino liqueur is omitted in this drink, with just the Gin, Crème de Violette and Lemon juice.
Moonlight Cocktail: The Maraschino liqueur is substitute with Cointreau in this drink.
Violette Vesper: Though not exactly a variation of the aviation cocktail, it is a similar drink with Crème de Violette that has the same look but different taste.


  • You could garnish the aviation cocktail with a lemon peel, if you do not have a maraschino cherry.
  • Both the Maraschino liqueur and the Crème de Violette has a very unique taste. Differing the proportions of these can lead to vastly different flavors.