Life has not been too kind lately to this lady. Mostly it has been little punches here and there that on their own are troubling, but since they happen one on top of the other just seem to be draining the life out of me. Who am I kidding? Some of them are pretty darn crappy, not little punches. But I've been trying to keep the calm face. I've been told I’m the kind of gal that if her hair caught on fire in the middle of a conversation, I’d calmly go around the corner, put out the fire, and then come back and say, “And how can I help you, again?” However, I won’t kid you that with all I have to deal with, sometimes a little tipple helps ease the worried mind. So this weekend I set about trying out a cocktail I’d wanted to try for a while on the recommendation of The Baroness – The Aviation.
In reading about the Aviation, I learned that I wouldn’t want to rely on my favorite vintage cocktail book, the Savoy Cocktail Book. The Aviation was created in the early twentieth century and this first version included crème de violette. However, for some reason the Savoy Cocktail Book eliminated this essential ingredient. As time went on, the crème de violette was forgotten about and, as it was difficult to obtain in the U.S., wasn’t seen as a key ingredient. With the renaissance of the cocktail, however, obscure liquors and liqueurs that had disappeared from our cabinets began making an emergence and people once again discovered the delights of this lovely purple elixir. Therefore, I was determined to learn about this pretty little cocktail in its earliest form.
The earliest recipe called for gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur and crème de violette, so that is what I went with. In trying out the various versions, I found I liked:
- 2 oz. gin
- ¾ oz fresh lemon
- ¼ oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
- Dash to ¼ oz of crème de violette
Mixing all of the ingredients together, I found just a dash of the crème de violette didn’t give it the hint of purple color I wanted, so I usually used just a little bit more. But I left it in the recipe as some might be put off by the hint of violet taste used in the ¼ oz. Why oh why didn’t that big box liquor store sell smaller bottles of the crème de violette or Luxardo? I will become a lush before I ever use it all.
But here it is. The two colors you see are the difference between a dash and close to ¼ oz of the crème de violette. Top it off with a cherry, serve it in a cocktail glass, and you have lovely, purple perfection. What do you think? Will you go violette? Like many vintage cocktails, don’t let its frou-frou look fool you. It packs a punch. Tasty, non?