The Aviation Project – Having an Aviation at Sharlie Cheen

The Aviation Project – Having an Aviation at Sharlie Cheen

I was really amazed when watching The Blacklist, an American crime TV show with James Spader, the main characters ordered an Aviation. He introduced the drink saying: “It’s from the ’20s, tastes like spring, doesn’t it?” Actually, the cocktail is more than a hundred years old, Gin based, and celebrated the birth of the Aviation industry. Let’s have one at Sharlie Cheen.

Maybe you will be surprised to find me in this kind of bar? A friend invited me, but I was also very curious. It is a high volume bar with a huge illuminated eye-catching backbar.

You will find more than 200 bottles and the interior is chic and stylish. Futuristic elements, indirect lighting and around two hundred square metres. The story behind the bar is the fictitious playboy Sharlie Cheen, who lived somewhere in Europe in the year 1915. His biography is told in the menu through drinks.

As I browsed through it, I was really surprised to find Aviation listed. The bartender told me that they sell up to four each night. This is very unusual and I am not sure if the guests understand what they are ordering and would be very surprised by its soapiness.

Usually they use Tanqueray Gin but the bartender chose Rutte Celery Gin when I explained the idea of the Aviation Project. Here is his recipe:

4 cl Rutte Celery Gin

2 cl Lemon Juice

1.5 cl Maraschino Luxardo

1.5 cl Crème de Violette

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

Unfortunately the only answer I got when I asked for the brand of the crème de violette was “just crème de violette?” No matter which brand you use, please do us a favour and don’t use such a huge amount of it. This drink looked more like it was dedicated to the birth of the Smurf village than Aviation.

Basically, the drink should be light purple or pale blue in tone. Some bartenders use only some dashes to coat the glass. The flavour profile should be sour, citrusy, light and floral.

to be continued …