Tag Archives: maraschino liqueur

Cocktail of the Hour — the Aviation

Aviation line.

Flying in style.

To truly enjoy the Aviation and appreciate its name, you have to think back to when air travel was a luxury. Picture a elegant seating area inhabited by suave gentlemen and well-coifed ladies. Imagine full-service dinners on tables with real table cloths served by happy stewardesses (term used for historical effect).

In that context, the Aviation’s name and makeup makes more sense. It’s a bit of a mystery — I couldn’t find much background on this Prohibition-era cocktail other than it was inspired by the air travel available around that time. It’s a crisp cocktail with a tart bite and a dry finish. Per the recipes I found online, it’s also incredibly versatile.

Per Wondrich’s article on Esquireit’s made with maraschino liqueur, but no crème de violette. This recipe first appeared in Harry Craddock’s 1930 edition of the Savoy Cocktail Book, and makes the drink reminiscent of the icy cloudscape that passengers experience when they fly.

According to most other sources, the crème de violette is essential: it provides the drink’s recognizable hazy purple-blue color. Either way, it’s a gorgeous drink that can call up memories of a simpler — and more glamorous — time. To find your way back, experiment with the proportions until you find what takes you back.

Recipe:
1 tsp Crème de Violette (optional)
1/2 oz maraschino liqueur
3/4 oz freshly squeezed and strained lemon juice
2 oz gin

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake vigorously until chilled, about 12-18 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry (optional).

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Introducing — Cocktail of the Hour

Photo c/o Angel Negrin

Photo c/o Angel Negrin

At Octane, we bartenders use the daily dinner hour lull to Instagram pictures of drinks and their ingredients. Many of the cocktails are both beautifully colored and cleverly named. As a result, I’ve become somewhat engrossed in research on the subject.

Weekly Cocktail of the Hour posts will highlight one cocktail and its history as told by the books and online sites I frequent and love. This week, the Last Word hits the top of the list. Though the exact quantity varies, the basic recipe calls for equal parts gin, Maraschino liqueur, Green Chartreuse and lime juice.

Developed in Detroit right before the start of Prohibition, this cocktail is almost more famous for its disappearance than for its origin. Interestingly, the name’s origin remains a mystery.

After its introduction in the early 1920s, the Last Word almost entirely disappears from the historical record for 80 years. Though it resurfaced in Ted Saucier’s 1951 Bottoms Up, it remained obscure until it was rediscovered and brought back to fame in 2004 by Seattle’s Zig Zag Cafe.

Though summer is drawing to a close, the Southern heat will most likely endure until early or mid-October. The lime’s acidity, Chartreuse’s earthiness, Maraschino’s sweetness and gin’s herbaceousness all come together to create a light, sippable cocktail you’ll want to keep in your glass all day long.

Recipe:

3/4 oz lime juice

3/4 oz Green Chartreuse

3/4 oz Maraschino liqueur

3/4 oz gin

Shake for 10-15 seconds or until cooled through. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.

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Filed under Cocktail of the Hour, See Clair Mix