Flying High With Aviation Gin

AviationGin 2I’m not sure what this has to do with pioneers of aviation, but I do like the design of the new label and bottle of one Aviation Gin.

House Spirits, a Portland, Oregon, USA-based distillery says its flagship brand Aviation Gin recently received a bottle and label makeover by Sandstrom Partners, an award-winning design agency also headquartered in Portland.

Looking to create a different look and feel from traditional London Dry Gins, Sandstrom president Jack Peterson says that: “Up until now, gin has been a spirit closely associated with the English—London dry gin. Aviation is creating the new American Gin experience, downplaying juniper and adding other adventurous botanicals such as cardamom, lavender, Indian sarsaparilla, coriander, anise, and dried sweet orange peel for a more balanced flavor. The bottle and label are designed to strikingly differentiate the brand from the pack in an American way.”

I admit to not being a fan of gin, but I do like a good package.

And, I suppose my views on the spirit are not alone, as the whole gin industry is looking to create a larger market share for itself, as gin is usually not the first spirit that comes to mind with the younger drinking generation.

I guess I’m trying to be polite, as gin has either been an elitist drink or what is known as panty-remover. If I have to explain it…

So, in an effort to carve out its own niche market, House Spirits has been trying to get away from the typical juniper berry ingredient by creating a different taste which for me is the pucker-inducing gin.

AviationGin 1

As for Aviation Gin, it comes in a clear glass bottle and features a very nice-looking bit of aircraft imagery – and even what is considered to be American typography that would make it stand out from the more plain (no pun intended) (okay, maybe just a little) British gin competition.

As for ‘WHY’ create an Aviation Gin bottle of booze? My initial thoughts were – hey, cause it helps you get high, but it turns out there is a more non-stupid reason.

The brand name comes from a cocktail, whose recipe was first published (but obviously created a bit earlier) in Hugo Ensslin’s 1916 book: Recipes for Mixed Drinks. The Aviation cocktail was created by Ensslin when he was the head bartender at New York’s Hotel Wallick.

I just love how people actually know the name of their bartender, as opposed to ‘Sweetcheecks’ or ‘Mac’.

Ensslin’s recipe consists of:

  • 1-1/2 oz. El Bart gin
  • 3/4 oz lemon juice
  • 2 dashes maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes crème de violette

I believe you stir with ice, and then strain. No longer available, the El Bart gin was a dry gin, and though not specified, any juice added to a drink or food is best served ‘fresh’.

Since the 1930s, many bartenders have left out the crème de violette, because it is apparently a hard-to-find ingredient. Too bad—the crème de violette is what gives the cocktail a pale, sky blue hue.

Having not heard of crème de violette before today, allow me to lead to you a website that provides a wee dram of information: HERE.

Oh… that pale, sky blue color… hopefully you will have noticed that’s the color of the cocktail in The Aviation gin photo at the very top.

Damn… that looks good. It makes me want to try one.

About mreman47

Andrew was born in London, UK, raised in Toronto, Canada, and cavorted in Ohtawara, Japan for three years. He is married, has a son and a cat. He has over 35,000 comic books and a plethora of pioneer aviation-related tobacco and sports cards and likes to build LEGO dioramas. He has written and been an editor for various industrial magazines, has scripted comic books, ghost-written blogs for business sectors galore, and hates writing in the 3rd person. He also hates having to write this crap that no one will ever read. He works on his Pioneers Of Aviation - a cool blog on early fliers - even though it takes him so much time to do. He also wants to do more writing - for money, though. Help him out so he can stop talking in the 3rd person.
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