Its the holidays. Perhaps you were expecting a holiday gift guide, or maybe the construction of some elaborate gin themed holiday staple (like a gin tree? like a gin-vent calendar?). I’m sorry to disappoint, but instead- bare with me here. I thought, let’s take a look at one of the most fabulous cocktails in the gin lover’s repertoire: the Aviation cocktail.
The Aviation is a fantastic cocktail for a few reasons. One, although its a gin drink, the violet + lemon combination is such a far cry from the bitterness of Gin and Tonic, that often times people are surprised to know its a gin cocktail. Its a great entry point to gin. Secondly, its a strong cocktail. The stereotype of gently colored drinks is that they’re “easy,” “gentle,” or otherwise fauxtinis. I assure you, this is none of those things. It is a definitively boozy cocktail. Third, I think its a great way to showcase some of the key characteristics of New Western/New American Gins. The floral notes of gins like Aviation, Seneca Drums or any of the G’vine gins are highlighted in this cocktail like none other.
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Aaron’s Note: Please excuse this re-post. This isn’t something we normally do around here, but seeing as how this week we’re covering the Negroni cocktail in depth, I felt it worthwhile to re-post this blog post I did earlier this year on the delicious and stimulating cocktail (with a few new editorial comments) Cheers!
Generally the Negroni is considered a “pre-dinner” drink. The bitters, often Campari is designed to stimulate the appetite before a meal. Apertifs and Digestifs in particular are more common in Italian culture; therefore the reputed origin of the Negroni- say Florence, Italy, somewhere around 1919?
Regardless of origin, this drink is classic; however uncommon it may be. In its most general form a Negroni consists of gin (surprise, surprise!), sweet red vermouth, and a bitters/campari. Though in theory an alternative like Cynar could be used, most cocktailians seem to agree that this is a drink for Campari. Though other variations exist, I don’t know if I would call them a true Negroni.
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I spent the 2010-2011 holiday season in Buffalo with my dear family. My in-laws (who are lovely people, and readers of this blog, so consider this a “shout-out!”) usually stock gin for the sole reason that I will drink it when I am there. They had bought a bottle of Bombay Sapphire a couple of years ago, but said bottle ran out during a particularly heated “Iron Chef” competition with my wife’s future sister in law (consider this another “shout-out!”). So I, being the lovely person that I am, went to the store and bought a bottle to replace the one I “killed.”
That bottle was of Seneca Drums gin, and considering the fridge was well stocked with Q Tonic, the drink was an easy one to decide upon.
Setting the Scene: Again, this is the holidays. Hardly a mixologists’ convention. So we’re going easy here. Easy to make, and easy to drink. Though, I will say- in this case leaving the lime out was not laziness (though it could easily be mistaken for such….) it was due to the complexity and bouquet of the gin at hand. There is so much going on and so much to appreciate in Seneca Drums gin, that I elected to forgo the lime- which is unusual as in most cases, Q Tonic’s bitterness requires that bit of sweetness.
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