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Backstorythe Original, Or Close To It
The Aviation first appeared in a 1916 book titled 'Recipes for Mixed Drinks' by a barkeeper from New York named Hugo R. Ensslin. Later Cocktailing grimoires, from the 1930s onward, seem to have removed one of the original key ingredients, Creme Yvette. This was a violet liqueur made in the US with Parma violets by the Sheffield company, which sadly went out of business in the 60's.
As a result of this unfortunate turn of events, violet liqueur has been unavailable in the US until just recently, with the influx of several brands. Creme de Violette is not the only vintage or unusual liqueur making it's way back onto the scene. Waltnut liqueur, Pimento Liqueur (All-Spice Berry not the pimento pepper), even Absinthe has been made available in the US, although the amount of thujone from the wormwood is regulated to safe levels.
As people tire of their Rum and coke, Screwdrivers, G & T's, 7 & 7's, and Vodka Cran, they are screaming for interesting cocktails containing more than just two ingredients. Bartenders are rising to the occasion, mixing cocktail recipes from long forgotten tombes and/or adding their own special artistic touch to these formulations. Bringing a certain style and class back into world of mixed drinks.
I just acquired a bottle of this deep purple 'aqua vitae' from Rothman & Winter, and it does smell like a bouquet of violets. I had intended on using it in food recipes, such as butter creme, whipped creme, and pastry creme. But who can resist the opportunity to taste a classic cocktail in it's original form. (I also take the occasional self indulgent sip of my Grand Marnier)
- 1 1/2 oz Dry Gin (Aviation, Bombay, or Plymouth)
- 1/2 oz (1 TB) Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/2 oz (1 TB) Creme de Violette (Rothman & Winter)
- 1 tsp Maraschino (Luxardo or Marasca if you can find it. It's the original from Marasca Cherries) in Croatia)
- Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice and add all of the ingredients.
- Shake for approximately 15 seconds.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and enjoy the roaring 20's