There are a lot of qualities that we look for in a cocktail, and while not always at the top of the list, color can be an interesting way to make a drink selection. At least this was our rationale while at Absinthe in Hayes Valley last weekend. After seeing a drink that was a very unusual color: we said gray, the bartender said purple. He explained that it was purple because of the addition of Crème de Violette and showed us the very purple liqueur, which apparently, can be somewhat hard to find.
Wanting to know what else this purple ingredient could do, especially if it is a rare find, we asked for any cocktail that included it. The very nice and accommodating bartender made us an Aviation, a combination of gin, maraschino liqueur, Crème de Violette and lemon juice. This worked out great for me, since one of my favorite cocktails is a Tom Collins, which mainly consists of gin and lemon juice, so the Aviation was a nice twist. The history of the Aviation makes it even more endearing in that it was created pre-prohibition (1916) in a New York hotel, and if you know us, you know we love hotel bars, so that goes quite a long way for us!
This history and the color alone make this worth ordering, but if you like gin, you’ll probably also enjoy the taste. If anyone else is an Aviation drinker, let us know where you have enjoyed one (or two…) in the comments!