By Jared Wall, LevelBar, The Prince George Hotel
The Contemporary: Silver Dart
Add 1 1/2 fluid ounces gin, 1/2 fluid ounce each of Lillet, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and lavender syrup* to a shaker. Add ice and shake very hard for 15-20 seconds. Strain into a Champagne flute or coupe. Invert grapefruit peels over the drink and squeeze so oils are released into the glass, perfuming the drink. Garnish with orange peel. To recreate the colour crème de violette add 1 drop neon blue and 2 drops neon pink, Clubhouse Brand food colouring.
Did You Know?
In this case, contemporary is relative. This drink, named after the famed Silver Dart airplane, was done so in homage of the original drink, the Aviation. The lavender was added to the drink to replace the long missing “crème de violette” liqueur. The “Silver Dart” was the name of the plane that flew the first controlled, powered flight in Canada, on February 23rd, 1909 in Baddeck.
The Classic: Aviation
Add 1 fluid ounce Beefeater Gin, 1/2 fluid ounce each of maraschino liqueur and lemon juice to a shaker. Add ice and shake very hard for 15-20 seconds. Strain into chilled martini glasses. Garnish each with a skewered maraschino cherry.
In a small pot, add 2 cups white sugar, 1 cup water and 3 tablespoons lavender flowers (in many spice sections at grocery or health food stores). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Let cool, then strain and bottle. The syrup will keep for 6-7 months, refrigerated.
Did You Know?
The Aviation was created by Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York, in the early twentieth century. The first published recipe for the drink appeared in Ensslin’s 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks. In the influential Savoy Cocktail Book (1930), the crème de violette was omitted, as we have in our recipe. Many later bartenders have followed the Savoy’s lead, leaving out the difficult-to-find violet liqueur.