With the 14th of February fast approaching, guys and gals alike might be scratching their heads in consternation at how to create a wonderful evening for friends (or that special someone) in the wake of a global pandemic.
Yep, it’s still a thing, unfortunately…
But there’s good news, folks — pre-made cocktails not only exist, but so many of them provide both variety and bartender-level quality that would prove a perfect complement to your evening, whether Valentine’s dinner, Galentine’s Zoom chat, or a solo set of sumptuous snacks. What’s more, pre-made takes away much of the stress in building the drink yourself!
One such cocktail in particular comes to mind as a timely suggestion for however you spend February 14 — the Aviation, by On The Rocks Cocktails. With humble beginnings around three men distilling spirits in a Dallas, Texas garage, which then expanded to mixing and designing cocktails for companies such as Virgin Airlines, Omni hotels and others, the group now known as On The Rocks sought to create “bar quality cocktails without preservatives… [that] had to keep their quality as they aged” (Neiuwesteeg, 2019).
In 2018, On the Rocks began forging partnerships with branded spirits such as Knob Creek and Hornitos to roll out an entirely new line of cocktails, including the Aviation with Larios Gin. You can find all five current offerings, including the Aviation, on the shelves at Superior Liquor for $11.99, or through our online curbside pickup system; just type “on the rocks” in the search bar to bring them up on your screen.
Let’s talk about the Aviation itself: a gin based drink, blended with maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice. When complete, it has a range of hues from delicate dark rose to lovely light lavender or lilac, and the addition of a brandied cherry adds further depth as well as a focus point within the glass.
Named for the growing revolution of flying machines in the early 20th century, the Aviation first appeared in print recipe form in 1916; some sources say that the name stuck because the drink’s hue reminded them of sunset while flying above the clouds. Soon thereafter, to the disappointment of millions, Prohibition washed through the United States and dumped drinking down the drain for several years.
Once restrictions were lifted, the Aviation suffered a second crashing descent, though this time from general popularity, in the 1930s (thanks to the omission of all-important crème de violette from the recipe). It took decades for the Aviation to return to American bars for consumer consumption in the mid-2000s, with the recipe returned to its original form.
Try the Aviation by On the Rocks with soft cheeses such as brie, or cheese spreads with herbes de provence (rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram). The flavors will also stand up to cured meats including smoked salmon, or light appetizers containing any of the above listed ingredients. Personally, I’m looking forward to a night of raclette-style appetizers accompanied by my own Aviation cocktail, courtesy of On the Rocks.
Cheers to all!
- “Aviation.” Gin Foundry, 20 September 2013. https://www.ginfoundry.com/cocktail/aviation-cocktail/
- Garrett, Dylan. “The Original Aviation Cocktail.” 13 April 2017, https://www.winemag.com/recipe/the-original-aviation-cocktail/
- Gray, Kevin. “Aviation.” Liquor.com, 12 October 2020. https://www.liquor.com/recipes/aviation/
- Neiuwesteeg, Tara. “How On The Rocks Cocktails Came to Be.” D Magazine, July 2019. https://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-ceo/2019/july/how-on-the-rocks-cocktails-came-to-be/
- “On the Rocks Cocktails.” Beam Suntory Inc. 2021. https://ontherockscocktails.com/
- Simonson, Robert. “The Rise and Fall of the Aviation Cocktail.” Punch, 5 December 2017. https://punchdrink.com/articles/aviation-cocktail-recipe-history-rise-and-fall/
- Zavatto, Amy. “6 Things You Should Know about the Aviation.” Liquor.com, 27 October 2020. https://www.liquor.com/aviation-cocktail-4798041