First thing you need to know about this drink: it’s a Rosemarie favorite and tomorrow is her birthday, meaning several of them will be consumed over the course of the gala weekend.
Third thing: The Aviation’s revival was not without controversy. A panel at the May 2012 Manhattan Cocktail Classic called “Do Not Resuscitate” targeted once-and-currently-popular drinks that perhaps should have been left in blind pigs shrouded by the mists of time. Éminence grise Dale DeGroff nominated the Aviation, saying “It tastes like hand soap” unless you added crème de violette, in which case “it’s more like hand soap.” The objection didn’t prevent DeGroff from including the drink in his books The Craft of the Cocktail and The Essential Cocktail, although to be fair he never sounds all that enthused about it; his comments in the earlier book are limited to “The Internet cocktail crowd has breathed new life into this chestnut.” Still, almost a century after Ensslin the Aviation has its partisans, among them William Grimes of the New York Times, who called it his favorite forgotten cocktail, and my wife Rosemarie. Did I mention tomorrow is her birthday?
2 oz. gin
¾ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. maraschino liqueur
¼ oz. crème de violette (you probably don’t have any, and that’s OK; you should make the drink anyway)
Shake. Strain. Garnish with a cherry.