Aviation Cocktail Recipe

Two aviation cocktails garnished with cherries next to alcohol bottles.

The Aviation Cocktail combines crème de violette, maraschino cherry liqueur and a bit of lemon juice for a perfectly sweet and tart cocktail that’s as pretty as it is delicious.

The Aviation Gin Cocktail combines crème de violette, maraschino cherry liqueur & lemon juice for a perfectly sweet & tart delicious cocktail. | platingsandpairings.com

There’s one solid thing that can get me into any bar… No, it’s not Real Housewives trivia night. It’s the Aviation Cocktail. It’s by far and away my absolute favorite cocktail on this planet. But unfortunately, this drink can be a bit difficult to order in many bars because the ingredients are somewhat obscure. That’s why I set out to perfecting the recipe at home.

After a few attempts, I found my perfect ratio of ingredients and discovered that it’s actually perfectly easy to make an Aviation Cocktail at home with just four ingredients.

Aviation Cocktail Ingredients

  • Gin
  • Lemon Juice
  • Maraschino Cherry Liqueur
  • Creme de Violette

A core ingredient to the Aviation Cocktail is Crème de Violette. Crème de violette, also known as liqueur de violette, is a generic term for a liqueur with natural and/or artificial violet flower flavoring and coloring. The taste profile and aroma are distinctly floral and sweet, and is said to be reminiscent of the violet candies popular in the early to mid 20th century. I can’t tell you whether that is true or not because I’ve never tried the candies… But I can tell you that this drink is delish! It’s also that crème de violette that gives this cocktail its gorgeous pale & delicate periwinkle/violet color.

TIP: If you’ve got leftover crème de violette (and you will) try adding some to your champagne glass next time you pop a bottle open. It adds just a little bit of the violette flavoring and provides a pretty color to your glass. Perfect for getting you out of that mimosa rut!

The base of this cocktail is gin and, although the crème de violette is sweet, this is generally a dry cocktail. Also in play are maraschino cherry liqueur and lemon juice. And, while your local bar may not carry all the ingredients, you should be able to easily find them at your local liquor store.

Two aviation cocktails garnished with cherries next to alcohol bottles.

How To Make an Aviation Cocktail

  • Add gin, lemon juice, maraschino cherry liqueur and creme de violette to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  • Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with maraschino cherries and enjoy.

What’s your favorite cocktail to order at a bar? Do you always order the same thing, or do you like to switch it up a bit? I’d love to hear in the comments below! Cheers!

Two Aviation cocktails shot from the side.

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Aviation Cocktail Recipe

Two aviation cocktails garnished with cherries next to alcohol bottles.

Aviation Cocktail Recipe

Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Keyword: aviation cocktail, gin cocktail, violet cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 189 kcal
Author: Platings & Pairings

The Aviation Cocktail combines crème de violette, maraschino cherry liqueur and a bit of lemon juice for a perfectly sweet and tart cocktail that’s as pretty as it is delicious.

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Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce Crème de Violette
  • Maraschino cherries for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake to chill well, then strain into a cocktail glass. 

  2. Garnish with cherries. 

Nutrition Facts
Aviation Cocktail Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 189
% Daily Value*
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Sugar 7g8%
Vitamin C 5.5mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

This recipe was originally published in January 2017. It was updated in March 2019 to add new photographs and update the content. The original cocktail recipe remains the same. Enjoy! 

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22 comments

  1. Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife

    Wait: which bar has Real Housewives Trivia Night?!! Okay, back to the cocktail… this looks divine and I love the hue. I’m a bourbon and whiskey girl usually but I wouldn’t turn this cocktail away!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Ha! I wish!!! I think Real Housewives trivia would be my only chance at winning a trivia night! I love the violet color of this cocktail too… In a small way, it may be why it’s my favorite cocktail!

      Reply

  2. Catherine @ Ten Thousand Hour Mama

    Wow, that cocktail is so pretty! I’ve never ordered it – I’m a little wary of obscure ingredients – but I definitely want to try it now!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      It’s sooooo good Catherine – Give it a try soon! You can definitely find it at a lot of bars in Portland.

      Reply

  3. Mary

    That looks so gorgeous!!! I’ve been on a lifelong mission to find my signature drink. When I lived in San Francisco in my twenties I was all about dirty vodka martinis, but I can’t really do those anymore. And I don’t like sweet drinks. And gin is my jam, and doesn’t look too sweet, so this sounds like something I really need to consider 😉

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I think you’ll love this Mary – It’s really not too sweet at all, but still has that great gin flavor!

      Reply

  4. lisa @ This Beautiful Day

    Yes! I never know what to do with gin, besides add tonic. Thanks for the great idea Erin 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Of course Lisa – I hope you give this cocktail a try – It’s my favorite!

      Reply

  5. Create/Enjoy

    So fancy! Those look like the really good maraschino cherries, too!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      They are great Suzannah – I found them at New Seasons!

      Reply

  6. Kirtan Kalyani

    I have always loved the classic Martinez made out of the old Tom gin. No matter how old school the drink is I have never enjoyed a cocktail made out gin except for Martinez but when I read the recipe of the aviation gin, boy! I could think of only one thing; Awesomeness personified!!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I hope you give it a try Kirtan – It’s my most favorite cocktail of all time! (So far…)

      Reply

  7. Jenni

    What a fun cocktail!! I have never heard of it before, but it sounds lovely!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      It’s amazing Jenni – I love the flavor combination!

      Reply

  8. Abra

    First of all this is gorgeous! Second of all where is there a Real Housewives trivia night? Becuase I will get on a plane and fly for that bizness, Third, I am obsessed with violet candies. You can rarely rarely find them and I can’t even remember the brand that still makes them but whenever I find them I buy a few packs and they last me about 2 minutes. I know this cocktail is right up my ally!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      It sounds like you would absolutely love this cocktail Abra – And, as far as I know… Real Housewives Trivia doesn’t actually exist – But it needs to!

      Reply

  9. Elizabeth

    I always love a golden Cadillac and/or a dry Gina martini straight, with, an olive! However, I just got my husband to pick me up a bottle of Creme de Viollette and I just, have to try the Aviation Gin Cocktail. Only problem is I don’t have any Marachino Cherry? Oh well, I guess, my husband will have to pick us up a bottle of that too! CHEERS!! Happy Holidays!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I hope you love it Elizabeth – It’s one of my favorite cocktails. Happy Holidays!

      Reply

  10. Helene Kremer

    Just came across this recipe on your blog! I too love the Aviation cocktail. If one doesn’t have gin on hand, you can always make it with vodka too, and it becomes a Blue Moon cocktail. Cheers!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Isn’t it so yummy? I love it with vodka too, but didn’t know that it actually had a name. Thanks!!!

      Reply

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