This cocktail has somehow managed to stay a classic, while flying under the radar of most bars. (And somehow avoiding the distinction of becoming a “Grandpa” drink!) We made an aviation while experimenting with Crème de Hibiscus last week, and I felt we should definitely give the cocktail a moment in the spotlight as well.

The Aviation Cocktail

Traditionally, the Aviation is made with just a little bit of Crème de Violette – but the deep blue color of that liqueur is enough to make the final drink a bright, crisp blue. Rumor has it, the name actually comes from its color looking like the color of a clear, blue sky. As you may have noticed, that is not at all the color you see in the drink above!

We tried to make Crème de Violette, but simply couldn’t find the right Violet petals to use. Settling for another dried flower we happened to have around the house, the Crème de Hibiscus was born. (Check out how we made it here!) The result? Definitely an Aviation, though admittedly not quite as floral as we’d hoped.

Some say that you can make an aviation without the Crème de Violette (or in our case, Hibiscus) at all – and if you’re all out of floral liqueurs, go for it. But if you have the chance to make this drink with the Crème de Violette, I say it’s definitely worth a try.


The Aviation is a true classic. In this recipe we’re making it with our homemade Crème de Hibiscus instead of the traditional Crème de Violette
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  • 1 1/2 oz London Dry Gin
  • 1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 barspoon Crème de Hibiscus (Traditionally, Crème de Violette)
  • 1 each Brandied Cherry (For Garnish)


  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake
  • Fine-strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  • Garnish with a Brandied cherry