The Aviation Project – Having an Aviation at Basalt

The Aviation Project – Having an Aviation at Basalt

I love cocktails with stories and the story of the Aviation reminds me of the fairytale where the ugly duckling became a beautiful swan. The drink was born and it was clear that it was going to be a very special one, but then one ingredient got lost and what remained was a not so nicely balanced concoction. As time went by Crème de Violette was produced once again, a cocktail historian found the first chronicled recipe, et voilà, at the beginning of the 21st century we had this beautiful Aviation: the original early 20th century recipe which blends sweet, sour and floral notes in a glamorous blue drink.

After a cheerful lighthearted evening at the Prime Time Theater in Wedding, my colleagues insisted on visiting a serious bar. The only serious bar in Wedding that came to mind was Basalt. It opened its doors almost two years ago and I had been wanting to go there for so long, I jumped at the opportunity.

What awaits you, is an extraordinary experience. It is like entering a greenhouse during the night, and the first thing I noticed was the smell of freshly cut flowers and soil. My eyes were delighted by the green colours due to the plants, the green tiles of the bar counter and the dark colour of the walls. The easy-going music and the casual surroundings invite you to stay and relax. If you take a closer look at the details you will notice that the tiles outside the venue match the emerald green of the bar. The same with the floor, where the same material has been used for the tables.

The interior is harmoniously coordinated, the backbar well stocked and, most importantly, the barteam is very friendly. Basalt invites you to stay and relax.

The menu lists some nice botanical plays on classics, longdrinks and beer. I opted for the Smoky Salty Sour, a libation of a Smoky Goat Blended Scotch, fresh lemon juice, salty caramel syrup served with a rim of smoked salt. My colleagues fancied the Pink n’ Spicy and the Basilisk and I took some sips of each. The drinks fit the place very well and my next drink of choice was, in accordance with the floral atmosphere, of course an Aviation.

This Aviation was made by Alexander. He uses Tangueray, he told me, because this is more neutral, so the components can play together. One very important thing he said was: “Drink it ice cool and quickly.” Here is his recipe:

5 cl Tanqueray Gin

1.5 cl Lemon Juice

1 cl Maraschino Luxardo

0.5 cl Massenez Liqueur de Violette

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Decorate the glass with lemon zest.

The colour of the Aviation was nice and it was very fresh, not too sour. I had never tried the Massenez Violette in an Aviation before. Violets are very fragile flowers with this special aroma which can become very soapy when overdone. This crème de violette suited the Aviation very well.

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to be continued ..