Take Flight With an Elegant Violet-Colored Aviation Cocktail

The light purple color and fragrant aroma of the aviation cocktail make it a treat for all the senses.

Updated February 16, 2024
Aviation Cocktail with Gin and Violette Liquor

If you're looking for a drink of a different color, we highly recommend the aviation cocktail. This light lavender cocktail is pretty and aromatic, with botanical, fruity, and floral flavors. It's one of our favorite summery sippers that's as lovely to look at as it is to drink.

Aviation Cocktail Recipe

The aviation cocktail gets its pretty purple color from crème de violette, a violet-flavored liqueur. It's in perfect balance in this cocktail. Don't use a ton of it or the drink will get a bit perfumey. 


  • 1½ ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce maraschino liqueur
  • ¼ ounce crème de violette
  • Ice
  • Cocktail cherry for garnish


  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, and crème de violette.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into the chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

Related: 11 Elegant Empress Gin Cocktails

Variations and Substitutions

While the aviation follows a fairly standard recipe, you can still make a few modifications without losing the essence of the cocktail.

  • Replace the gin with Empress 1908 gin for even more violet color. 
  • Experiment with the ratios of the cocktail by using less gin and more maraschino liqueur, or less lemon juice and more crème de violette. Find out which ratio makes your palate the happiest.
  • Instead of lemon juice, give lemon cordial or lemon liqueur a try, but beware that it could be boozier.
  • Different styles of gin will have different flavors, meaning you can play with Old Tom gin, London dry, Plymouth, or genever.
  • Infused gin adds a boost of flavor without altering the profile of the cocktail too much. Consider a botanical or citrus infusion.


The cocktail cherry is the most traditional and frequently used garnish for the aviation cocktail. However, consider a few of these options to make yours stand out.

  • Consider using a lemon, orange, or lime for a citrus touch. With those, you can add a citrus slice, wheel, or wedge for a more pronounced flavor.
  • If you want a softer citrus flavor, use a citrus peel, ribbon, or twist, or a dehydrated citrus wheel.
  • Alternate a cocktail cherry and citrus peel or coin on a cocktail skewer.
  • Garnish with an edible flower such as an apple blossom, clover, day lily, honeysuckle, lavender, or lilac.
  • Sprinkle edible gold flakes or glitter overtop to make your Aviation really pop.

An Aviation Cocktail That'll Soar

The aviation stands out in a crowd, and its distinct and elegant purple hue is a notable variation from clear martinis and gin drinks or amber-colored bourbon cocktails. Step away from the masses and enjoy an aviation. Better yet, have a giggle with yourself as you enjoy one at an airport.

Trending on LoveToKnow
Take Flight With an Elegant Violet-Colored Aviation Cocktail