Drinkin’ Tyme: Eclipsing the Aviation

Today, we turn our eyes to the sky (under the protection of solar glasses; safety first people!) to bask in the glory of the first total solar eclipse to cross the U.S. in nearly a century. Now it’s time to celebrate with the thing that really puts the moon in our sky: cocktails!

For this week’s installment of Drinkin’ Tyme, we’ve dressed up the balanced and pleasantly floral Aviation—a drink so named for its stunning azure hue that brings to mind the wild, blue yonder. Its color comes from a splash of deep-purple, violet liqueur added to gin, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, and lemon juice. To give this classic concoction a celestial edge, we’re swapping the traditional cherry garnish for a solar eclipse-inspired lemon wedge.

As for the history of the Aviation, we don’t actually know who first created it. According to cocktail guru David Wondrich, the first Aviation recipe was printed in 1916. And, because of the rarity of two of the ingredients (maraschino liqueur and creme de violette) at the time, it’s likely this concoction was served only in high society bars. The Aviation eventually fell into obscurity—until the recent cocktail renaissance brought it back to light!

Eclipsing the Aviation

Makes 1 cocktail

  • 1¾ ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • ¾ ounce lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce creme de violette
  • Eclipse lemon wheel, to garnish*

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add gin, Luxardo, and lemon juice and shake until cold. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with a splash of creme de violette. Garnish with an eclipse lemon wheel.

Pro tip! Splashing creme de violette directly into the glass is what gives this drink that two-tone sky hue that’ll impress all your friends. For a traditional, gray-blue color, mix all the ingredients together at once.

*To make the eclipse garnish: Lightly toast a tablespoon or two of black sesame seeds, then toss with a few pinches of turbinado sugar. Sprinkle the mixture over a lemon slice to create a crescent moon, half moon, or total eclipse. Slice halfway through the lemon wheel to fit over the edge of a glass.