Monday, December 12, 2011

Essential Cocktails: The (Tweaked) Aviation

Tweaked Aviation
Josh and I are returning to this abandoned blog to post, among other San Francisco and home adventures, a series about what we consider our essential cocktails—tried-and-true favorite drinks that you can make at home with affordable ingredients.

So when Josh asked for something refreshing this evening, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to kick this thing off and turned right to the Aviation.

The problem? Well, I started to tweak it.

The modern classic version typically calls for four ingredients: gin, maraschino liquer, lemon, and creme de violette (a fragrant purple liquer that indeed tastes like the delicate flower).

Though I had planned to follow the classic recipe, as I built the cocktail in the shaker, I started to recall my typical experience with Aviations—that is, they just taste too sour.

And thus I found my hands deviating from the typical order of things. We ended up with the following:

2 oz of gin (typically, I would use 1.5 oz, but my citrus today was particularly sour. I compensated with more base spirit)
.5 oz lemon
.5 oz Demerara simple syrup (1:1)
.25 oz Luxardo maraschino liquer
1 dash Angostura bitters

Rinse: R&W Creme de Violette

Shaken and poured up in a coup glass.

I was actually pleasantly surprised that adding simple syrup compensated for the tartness I've tasted before, and the ango gave a nice balance—a particularly helpful complement to the Creme de Violette which can be too fragrant and overpowering.

Has anyone else tweaked the Avaiation in a similar fashion?


ernie.cordell said...

Welcome back!

Lorraine said...

Noelle, I haven't tweaked an Aviation, but I sweeten almost all the Sour recipes I've tried. Most are just TOO sour.

Noelle said...

Hi Lorraine! So sorry, I could have sworn I responded to this over a year ago. So sorry! Anyway, for sours, we typically use a 1:1 ratio (assuming a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water for the simple). It sort of depends on the sourness of the citrus, though, which can be a huge determining factor, as you know, especially on the east coast. We've learned to balance this with the ratio of spirit, interestingly, so as not to make the cocktail too cloying (I think this also might account for why East Coast drinks tend to be a bit dryer).

What kind of sours have you been making lately? What ratio do you usually use?