This week continues the trend of popular pre-Prohibition cocktails with the Aviation. This cocktail is a a mix of gin, Maraschino, and lemon juice. The original recipe calls for creme de violette, but that’s a hard, and expensive, liquor to find and doesn’t add much more than a purplish-blue hue to the drink. Many bartenders skip it, as I have.
1 1/2 oz. gin
3/4 oz. maraschino liquor
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
Add ingredients to an ice filled shaker. Shake well until thoroughly chilled. Pour into cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry. (Please use an actual cherry not one of those disturbingly highlighter red “maraschino cherries.”)
The Aviation is a tricky cocktail. I made a number of them and the balance between the liquids is very important. A little too much lemon juice and its too sour, too much gin and you can’t taste anything else. Even the maraschino liquor can throw the whole drink off. I found that being a light on the gin and a little heavy on the lemon juice made for an ideal drink.
The Aviation isn’t a popular cocktail. I don’t think I’ve ever heard one ordered at a bar. I know why too. It doesn’t take much to mess it up and even when you have a perfectly made one it isn’t going to “wow” you. Maraschino liquor might also be a turn off for people. It’s an interesting liquor that starts sweet but leaves a herbal, acidic, minerally aftertaste that takes some time to get used to. I ended up with a version of the drink I’m happy with but I don’t see myself making, or ordering, it that often…
Summer means stone fruit! I love peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries and more! On whim this weekend while I was grocery shopping I picked up a bag of cherries (probably too many cherries! I’ll have to freeze most of them) once I got home I didn’t quite know what to do with all of them. I did some light google searching to see what cocktails have cherries as a component. I saw some good looking drinks but many of them looked complicated or had liquor in them that I didn’t have access to. Well, necessity is the mother of all invention. Looking around my house I created a sweet fizz, the Cherry Elderflower Fizz.
Cherry St. Germain Fizz
2 oz. elderflower liquor
2 to 4 sweet cherries
In a collins class muddle pitted cherries. Fill glass with ice. Pour elderflower liquor into glass. Fill glass with ginger ale. Stir once. Garnish with cherry if desired.
This was really good! Especially considering it’s a drink I just threw together! There is definitely room for improvement though. I think ginger beer would work better than ginger ale, the beer has the extra oomph needed to compete with the sweetness of the elderflower liquor. Speaking of elderflower liquor, I might play with the amounts there as well, maybe cutting out an 1/2 oz. of the drink to reduce the sweetness and replace with vodka if I want it to still have the same kick. I muddled two cherries in my drink and I think I could use a few more to add more character to the drink as well as a little bit of lemon juice or lemon oil.
The more I think about it, the more ideas I have! I’ll post again once I’ve tinkered some more and have a new and improved Cherry Elderflower Fizz.