Aviation Cocktail

Welcome to Ritual Airlines. Fasten your seatbelts because today, we’ll be serving the iconic Aviation cocktail. This classic gin-based cocktail has a delicate and floral flavor profile. Cherished for its light, citrusy, and botanical flavors, the Aviation cocktail is a timeless choice for gin enthusiasts and cocktail connoisseurs – it’s no wonder why this recipe has seen a recent revival. But before we take flight, let’s talk about its origins. 

The history of the Aviation Cocktail

The Aviation cocktail has a fascinating history dating back to the early 20th century. It’s believed to have been created by Hugo Ensslin, a bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York City. In 1916, Ensslin published a cocktail recipe book called "Recipes for Mixed Drinks," where he included the recipe for the Aviation cocktail.

At that time, the main aviation cocktail ingredients consisted of gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, and crème de violette, which gave it a unique pale blue color and a subtle floral flavor. The addition of crème de violette was a distinguishing feature of the Aviation cocktail, providing a distinct violet aroma and taste.

The cocktail gained popularity during the Prohibition era in the United States (1920-1933), when the production and sale of alcoholic beverages were illegal. Using ingredients like lemon juice and maraschino liqueur helped mask the harsh taste of homemade or low-quality spirits, making the Aviation cocktail a favorite choice among speakeasy patrons.

However, as crème de violette became less available and fell out of fashion in subsequent years, the recipe for the Aviation cocktail evolved. Many bartenders omitted the crème de violette altogether, resulting in a clear cocktail focusing on the gin, lemon, and maraschino flavors. 

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in classic cocktails, including the original recipe for the Aviation. Craft cocktail enthusiasts and mixologists have sought out crème de violette and reintroduced the floral element to the drink, bringing it closer to its authentic roots.

start of recipe

Aviation recipe

A low-ABV version of the classic Aviation cocktail recipe calls for Maraschino liqueur and Creme de Violette – ingredients not everyone may have on hand. But if you can find it and learn to appreciate it, consider purchasing a small bottle of each. Just swap in Ritual Gin Alternative for traditional gin. The results (along with that beautiful color) will be worth it – bright, complex, and smoother than the real thing. It's truly a great drink you'll love, and you’ll definitely be wanting more than one. 

Are you looking to make an entirely non-alcoholic version of the Aviation cocktail? You can create a refreshing and flavorful non-alcoholic gin Aviation cocktail by replacing Maraschino Liqueur with Maraschino cherry juice and Creme de Violette with lavender simple syrup. 

2 oz. Ritual Gin Alternative

3/4 oz. lemon juice

1/2 oz. maraschino cherry juice

1/4 oz. lavender syrup (or crème de violette for a low-abv version)


Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add Ritual Gin Alternative, Maraschino cherry juice, lemon juice, and lavender syrup to the shaker. Shake the mixture vigorously for about 15-20 seconds to chill and combine the ingredients. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass or a martini glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel, expressing the oils over the drink to release its aroma. This recipe is good, sour, and floral and is something you will want to share with others. Serve and enjoy your non-alcoholic Aviation mocktail!

A delightful flavor profile

This fully non-alcoholic version captures the essence of the classic Aviation cocktail while omitting the alcoholic components. The non-alcoholic gin substitute provides botanical notes, while the Maraschino cherry juice contributes a sweet and fruity flavor. The fresh lemon juice adds a tangy and citrusy kick, and the lavender syrup lends a subtle floral touch. It's a delightful mocktail option for those who prefer non-alcoholic beverages or want to enjoy the flavors of an Aviation without the alcohol content.

Why try alcohol-free?

There are many reasons why someone might choose a non-alcoholic version of an Aviation cocktail. And with Ritual Spirit Alternatives, you can enjoy the complexity and authenticity of the real thing – without the booze. Making for just one more reason to give it a go!

Variety and Exploration: Non-alcoholic cocktails have gained popularity as more people seek exciting and complex flavors without the effects of alcohol. Trying a non-alcoholic Aviation allows for exploration and expands the range of drink options available.

Inclusive Gatherings: When hosting a party or gathering, providing non-alcoholic beverage options ensures that everyone can participate and enjoy the festivities, regardless of their alcohol preferences or restrictions.

Non-Alcoholic Lifestyle: Some individuals prefer to abstain from alcohol due to personal or health reasons. A non-alcoholic Aviation allows them to enjoy the flavors and experience of the cocktail without consuming alcohol.

Designated Drivers: If you're the designated driver for the evening or attending an event where you need to stay sober, a non-alcoholic Aviation provides a sophisticated and flavorful option that doesn't contain alcohol.

Health Consciousness: Some people may be mindful of their alcohol consumption and choose non-alcoholic alternatives to reduce their overall intake. 

Ultimately, the choice of a non-alcoholic Aviation cocktail provides an opportunity to savor the flavors and experience of the classic cocktail while aligning with personal preferences, health considerations, or social situations. It allows for inclusivity, creativity, and the enjoyment of a well-crafted drink without the presence of alcohol.

Best enjoyed…

The Aviation cocktail is a versatile and elegant drink that can be enjoyed in various settings and occasions. Here are a few suggestions for when and where to enjoy an Aviation:

Special Events: The Aviation's beautiful purple hue and sophisticated flavor make it an excellent choice for special occasions like weddings, anniversaries, or upscale parties. It adds a touch of elegance to any celebration.

Spring or Summer Evenings: The floral and citrus notes of the Aviation make it particularly refreshing and suitable for warm weather. Sip on an Aviation while enjoying a sunset on a patio, rooftop bar, or outdoor gathering.

Cocktail Tastings: If you're hosting a cocktail tasting or experimenting with mixology at home, include an Aviation on the menu. It's a classic cocktail that showcases the art of mixology and allows guests to appreciate its unique flavors.

The Aviation cocktail continues to be enjoyed by cocktail enthusiasts around the world. Its elegant appearance, balanced flavors, and intriguing history make it a beloved classic that showcases the creativity and craftsmanship of cocktail culture. Don't forget to raise a cocktail glass and share your experience with your friends and loved ones. We can't wait to serve you on your next flight with us. As always, thank you for flying Ritual Airways. Cheers!


750 ml | 25.4 fl oz
Shop Now