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The Aviation


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213 replies to this topic

#1 slkinsey

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Posted 10 May 2004 - 03:31 PM

[Editors Note: The side discussion on the "Original Gin" thread on aviations reached the point where it seemed to cry out for its own thread, so here it is.]

As for the Aviation... it might be difficult finding a bar that can serve this. It relies upon "Maraschino Liqueur", which is -not- the juice from a jar of Maraschino's but instead is a clear liqueur made from Marasca cherries. It can be very hard to find sometimes, and even harder to find a bar that stocks it.

Any brands you recommend?

Edited by JAZ, 14 May 2004 - 08:30 AM.

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#2 Splificator

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 06:11 AM

As for the Aviation... it might be difficult finding a bar that can serve this. It relies upon "Maraschino Liqueur", which is -not- the juice from a jar of Maraschino's but instead is a clear liqueur made from Marasca cherries. It can be very hard to find sometimes, and even harder to find a bar that stocks it.

Any brands you recommend?

Luxardo is the classic one, a supremely funky-tasting specimen that comes in a straw-covered bottle; the process by which it's made involves separate fermentation of the cherry juice and pomace--if that's what you call it with cherries--including stems and leaves, and all kinds of other complicated, old-fashioned behavior.

If Luxardo's too funky (it's really quite pungent), another good brand that has decent distribution is Stock, which is cleaner-tasting but still quite flavorful. Personally, I prefer the Luxardo.

There's another brand out there which Doc swears by, but I can't recall it's name. It's Croatian, which is a good thing, but I don't think it's distributed in New York.
aka David Wondrich

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#3 bleachboy

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 06:41 AM

I'm doing grocery shopping today, so I'll stop by some liquor stores and try to source out some of this maraschino liqueur and post results tonight!

After reading Splificator's warning, I decided to not try to order an Aviation last night -- mostly because the wife has been craving nachos so we went to a nacho place. :biggrin:
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#4 Dan Ryan

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 08:38 AM

I think Maraska is probably the Croatian brand you're thinking of.

Aviation good.

Aviation very good.

#5 slkinsey

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 09:01 AM

I've made a nice-tasting variation on the Aviation using Cherry Heering instead of maraschino.
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#6 Dan Ryan

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 09:04 AM

Maraska also do a straw-covered smaller bottle, but I buy the larger strawless. I know this was originally a gin thread, but now we're on the subject of maraschino, what about a mention for the Florida Daquiri and Hemingway Special (basically daquiris with added grapefruit juice and maraschino)? Great drinks, well worth a try.

#7 Splificator

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 09:09 AM

The owner collects various liqueurs and liquors on his frequent European travels and I know I've seen the Luxardo because of the straw-covered bottle.

Better yet, I'll ask if he'll mix up an Aviation.  :smile:

While you're at it, you might ask him if he's snagged any creme de violette: according to Hugo Ensslin's 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks, which has the earliest formula for the drink I've been able to find, that went into the Aviation along with the maraschino, lemon juice and gin (I use a teaspoon of each liqueur, half an ounce of strained lemon juice and two ounces of gin). It gives the drink a pale, skyish blue color--which explains its name.

Good luck!
aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

#8 Dan Ryan

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 09:14 AM

Never knew about the violette. Might try parfait amour in my next aviation if that's not too sacrilegious (cf Jupiter Cocktail). Cool tip Splificator. Hvala ljepa!

#9 Splificator

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 09:17 AM

Maraska also do a straw-covered smaller bottle, but I buy the larger strawless. I know this was originally a gin thread, but now we're on the subject of maraschino, what about a mention for the Florida Daquiri and Hemingway Special (basically daquiris with added grapefruit juice and maraschino)? Great drinks, well worth a try.

Maraska is indeed the stuff I was thinking of, and now I see that, according to Beverage Media, it is available here in NY; I'll have to track it down.

Agreed, the Florida/Floridita Daiquiri is a great drink.

Another thing worth trying is a 19th-century "Gin Cocktail" (before there was the Martini, there was the Gin Cocktail): 2 oz gin, 1/2 teaspoon simple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon maraschino, 2 dashes bitters, stirred and strained and topped off with a twist. This is surprisingly good--even gin-haters will bite at it, provided you make it cold enough and don't tell them what it is they're drinking. It also works very well with Genever gin (it comes out tasting nice and malty).
aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

#10 Splificator

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 09:22 AM

Might try parfait amour in my next aviation if that's not too sacrilegious (cf Jupiter Cocktail). Cool tip Splificator. Hvala ljepa!

Thanks to you, too! The color will come out right, anyway--and that's all the violette is really there for. Should work fine.

And I'm sure the Bemelmans Bar will make you an excellent Aviation, if Audrey has anything to say about it, as will Milk & Honey; they used to make them at Angel's Share, too, but I haven't been in in a while.
aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

#11 slkinsey

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 09:28 AM

FYI, I've created a thread in the NYC forum about the top cocktail bars in the City. Please go over there and chime in with your thoughts.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#12 bleachboy

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 10:10 AM

Well, I have just made and tasted my very first Aviation -- wow! What a delicious drink. The earthy notes of the gin and maraschino liqueur (Splificator nailed it with "funky") and the perfect balance of sweet and sour make this a mouthwatering beverage with a truly lovely balance.

Unfortunately the only maraschino liqueur available in Nashville, apparently, is Luxardo, so no head-to-head taste tests today. I may make some more later tonight with other fruit flavored liqueurs, though, as an experiment.

The recipe I used was:
2 1/2 shots gin
1 1/2 shots freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 shot Luxardo
1/3 shot sugar syrup
Lemon zest garnish

Bottoms up!

Posted Image
Don Moore
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#13 slkinsey

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 10:22 AM

Nice, Don. My Aviation is something like:

2.0 oz : gin
0.5 oz : fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz : maraschino
Lemon twist
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#14 bleachboy

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 10:27 AM

2.0 oz : gin
0.5 oz : fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz : maraschino
Lemon twist

I'll have to try this way too. I did not taste the maraschino liqueur for sweetness first, but the drink seems well-balanced, though maybe a tad on the sweet side. Your recipe would certainly be easier to make, and would definitely fit into my cocktail glass better (the recipe I followed made about one-and-a-half drinks) since my glasses are around 4 or 5 ounces, and the shot glass I use is 1 1/4 oz. :)
Don Moore
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#15 bleachboy

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 02:10 PM

Just made myself an Aviation "slkinsey" and I have to admit it is closer to perfect than my previous attempt. The cherry and lemon flavors are much more muted and intriguing. If somebody handed me this drink, and I didn't know what was in it, I doubt I'd be able to guess. I'm not sure I'd even identify it as a gin drink. But it is almost addictively tasty.

My only complaint would be that it has an ever-so-slight bitter edge. I believe slkinsey's recipe will be my standard, but with the addition of a teaspoon of sugar syrup.

Thanks for teaching me a new drink, folks! :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
Don Moore
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#16 slkinsey

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 02:24 PM

Two cocktails, and it's barely 5:00! You, sir, are a man after my own heart! :biggrin:
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#17 cdh

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 02:34 PM

Can someone name a bar in Manhattan where I can try a proper Aviation before I go off searching for maraschino liqueur?

Good Manhattan bars that can do an Aviation for you:

Angel's Share.
The King Cole Bar at the St Regis.
Maybe (but I'm not sure) the bar on top of the Peninsula Hotel.

That's all the places I've had one... and I'm not sure about the Peninsula.

Good luck in the hunt.

Edited by cdh, 11 May 2004 - 02:34 PM.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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#18 Splificator

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 02:34 PM

If somebody handed me this drink, and I didn't know what was in it, I doubt I'd be able to guess.

For me, that's the peak of mixology--when the flavors of the ingredients blend into something completely different, a taste that has never existed before. When it works, it's just so friggin cool. (It is however to be distinguished from the "you can't taste the liquor" goal of so much modern mixing. I prefer you can taste the liquor, you just can't identify it.)

And yeah, two down by 5:00 is awesome.
aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

#19 JAZ

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 08:28 AM

One of my favorite bartenders here in San Francisco makes a couple of variations of the Aviation, one with a bit of crushed mint, and one with a splash of grapefruit juice. Both are very nice.

#20 plattetude

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 09:00 AM

Can someone name a bar in Manhattan where I can try a proper Aviation before I go off searching for maraschino liqueur?

I believe I've seen the Aviation on the drink menu at Julie Reiner's Flatiron Lounge as well.

I gotta say, it's one of my favorite ever cocktails, and one could argue that my first Aviation was a turning point in my cocktailian life. Some 6 years ago or so, on my first visit to the recently shuttered (and muchly missed) Grange Hall in Greenwich Village, I spied this most sublime drink on the menu and promptly ordered it. Within a week or two, I had bought my first bottle of maraschino liqueur (Stock -- I need to find a bottle of Luxardo), and by now I consider it a staple in my home bar. That experience taught me how little I knew about classic cocktails, and how much there was to learn.... I've been doing my best to catch up! :biggrin:

Christopher

#21 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 09:37 AM

all the receipts I have for an Aviation call for apricot brandy & no simple syrup or sugar (except for the one in an ancient "Old Mr. Boston" bar book which calls for gin, lemon, & maraschino only). I checked the dozen or so bar books I have just to confirm and a couple did not even include the drink. It had been a long time since I sampled one and forgot about them until this thread. A long lost acquaintance used to drink them when she could find a bartender who knew how to make them and had the ingredients.
btw, does not Peter Heering make a maraschino liqueur? Cherry Heering or some such? I remember it being behind the bar at a place I worked and never having touched the bottle except for inventory purposes in the almost ten years I worked there.
in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--
the best cat ever.

#22 JAZ

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 10:20 AM

No, Cherry Heering is different -- much sweeter and less complex.

#23 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 13 May 2004 - 11:13 AM

No, Cherry Heering is different -- much sweeter and less complex.

thx Jaz, I remember some one comparing Cherry Heering to cough syrup and that did not seem to be the flavor of Luxardo and I was not about to go and buy a bottle of Cherry Heering just to compare.
in loving memory of Mr. Squirt (1998-2004)--
the best cat ever.

#24 JAZ

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 08:40 AM

I know this was originally a gin thread, but now we're on the subject of maraschino, what about a mention for the Florida Daquiri and Hemingway Special (basically daquiris with added grapefruit juice and maraschino)? Great drinks, well worth a try.

I found a recipe for a drink called a Beachcomber, which also included a splash of maraschino. Since its ingredients happened to coincide with the ingredients I had on hand, I gave it a try (okay, two tries.) The original recipe (from Harrington's book) called for 1.5 oz. white rum, .5 oz triple sec, .75 oz lime juice and "two drops" of maraschino. After a bit of experimentation, I ended up with 1.5 oz. rum, .25 oz. triple sec, .5 oz lime juice, 1 teaspoon maraschino, and a couple dashes of peach bitters.

#25 ned

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 09:09 AM

WD-50 makes a more than passable aviation.

Does anybody have an opinion about rocks or up? I made the drink based on hearing about it from a friend. I went out and got Maraschino, test tubes and a densimeter, squeezed some lemons. . . so on and so forth, served it over ice. I kind of like it that way. Less fussy. Just have to be sure to drink it fast.

I use Maraska (found it at Sherry-Lehmans) . As far as sweetness goes, my take is that one ought to err on the opposite side of it. Best to keep the simple syrup on the shelf.

Wonder how a meyer lemon would do rather than a regular one?
You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

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#26 bleachboy

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 01:17 PM

I'm sticking with my sugar syrup addition, although after tough experimentation I would recommend just a dash, maybe 1/4 tsp or so.. I just stick my spoon in the syrup then swish it around in the shaker before I shake it.

I dunno about Meyer lemons - they might bring the right amount of sweetness to the mix, but they might also mute the tartness of the lemon, an important quality of the Aviation.

Three days, and I'm an Aviation expert? :hmmm:
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#27 birder53

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 01:30 PM

I'm sticking with my sugar syrup addition, although after tough experimentation I would recommend just a dash, maybe 1/4 tsp or so.. I just stick my spoon in the syrup then swish it around in the shaker before I shake it.

I dunno about Meyer lemons - they might bring the right amount of sweetness to the mix, but they might also mute the tartness of the lemon, an important quality of the Aviation.

Three days, and I'm an Aviation expert? :hmmm:

Meyer lemons! :rolleyes: I prefer my Aviation with meyer lemons. I like the tiny bit of sweet it adds. I'll confess that I also like a big, fat maraschino cherry in my drink as well. :unsure: I haven't been successfull finding myer lemons lately but once I do I'll make a big batch of Aviations. What a great drink!
KathyM

#28 trillium

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 03:05 PM

That's the fun part about mixing, you can adjust the proportions to taste. I love making Aviations with Meyer lemons, mostly because the twist has a much more complex smell, but I hate sweetish drinks...so, I just add a little more lemon juice. The tip JAZ gave a while back about using the amerana cherries in syrup as a garnish for the drink is a fantastic one, they're expensive, but it really pushes it over the top.

regards,
trillium

#29 ned

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Posted 14 May 2004 - 05:12 PM

Love the cherries. I've soaked a teaspoon of sour cherry jam, in which the cherries are whole, in a tablespoon of gin, added that and gotten a double benefit, preserved cherry garnish and a touch of sweetness.

Edited by ned, 14 May 2004 - 05:13 PM.

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

#30 slkinsey

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 06:50 AM

For anyone in the City looking for Luxardo... I found some at Union Square wines. It was funny...at first they didn't think they had any. Then they thought, "oh yea... that stuff... we used to have that, but I think we're out." Then they found the Luxardo Bitter and thought they had confused the two. I was all set to go home empty-handed (in the booze department, anyway) when I looked up and saw the Luxardo Maraschino on the next shelf up. The next thing out of the salesperson's mouth was, "hey... you use that stuff to make Aviations, right? how do you make those?"
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey