The Aviation Project – Having an Aviation at Becketts Kopf

The Aviation Project – Having an Aviation at Becketts Kopf

Your favourite cocktail is not just a delicious refreshment, its story also intrigues you. Lately, I read about ‘’the fall of the Aviation’’ and I decided to investigate a bit. It is a challenging cocktail, and many people dislike the floral taste. Basically, it is a mix of gin and lemon juice, a Gin Sour, but instead of using sugar, sweetness is added from maraschino liqueur. You need to be careful with the mixing ratio because it easily overwhelms the other ingredients. The lovely colour and the distinctive floral notes are produced by the crème de violette.

The first appearance of the Aviation in print was in 1916 in Recipes for Mixed Drinks by Hugo Ensslin, bartender at the Hotel Wallick in Times Square, near 43rd and Broadway. He used crème de violette for the sky blue colour that suggested the cocktail’s name. It isn’t clear whether the bartender created the Aviation as an homage to a specific aviator or dedicated it to the Pioneer era of human flight. However, it is the characteristic colour that makes it unique.

The Aviation Cocktail is as blue as the sky
with a memorable aroma. It tastes like spring.

Lately, one of my Greek bar friends moved to Berlin. Georgia K., better known as Jay-Jay, has worked at The Gin Joint, one of my favourite bars in Athens, and as the name indicates the focus of the bar is on Gin. There, she had her first Aviation by Natalia, head bartender at the bar at the time, and fell immediately in love with this almost forgotten libation, with its strong and slightly soapy flavour. We had already done some bar tours together and so we decided to try the same classic cocktail from different hands, in different bars, with varying gins to see the philosophy and the way different Berlin bartenders mix this classic. It is not just an excuse to get drunk, this is a new adventure exploring the city of Berlin accompanied by Jay.

Tastebuds ready for take off.
We start the Aviation Project.

Our first destination was Becketts Kopf. A place for classic and sophisticated drinking. Becketts Kopf has revived classic bar culture and is “a bar to refine your senses”. They opened their doors 14 year ago, and it is my favourite bar. In Becketts Kopf the cocktail list is inspired by old and forgotten recipes from the last third of the 1800s, and cocktails are short and rich. It is a sensorial experience and the bar team infuses love, passion and attention to detail into preparing the right flavour combinations. For me, it was the best place to start the Aviation Project and we were sure to expect a very special spirits combination.

The night we were at Becketts Kopf we found Oliver Ebert, owner and one of the best mixologist in Germany behind the stick. Here is his recipe:

6 cl Gin 206 Freimeisterkollektiv

1.5 cl Lemon Juice

1 bar spoon Bigallet Crème de Violette

1 bar spoon homemade Cherry liquer (mix of cherry brandy from Baumgartner and sugar)

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Rim the glass with lavender sugar.

This Aviation was served in a beautiful vintage glass, the sugar crystals sparkled in the light and we recommend having one only, otherwise you will fly away.

to be continued …