One of the great forgotten cocktails of the 20th century, the Aviation Cocktail draws its unique taste from maraschino liqueur. Do not confuse -- and never replace -- maraschino liqueur with the juice from maraschino cherries or with other cherry spirits. They are nothing alike. Maraschino is a balanced, clear-colored liqueur made from Marasca cherries, originating in the Dalmatia region of Croatia. It includes the crushed cherry pits, which give a subtle bitter almond flavor.
Jason Wilson recommends using a premium dry gin, such as Junipero or Tanqueray No. 10. For a slightly sweeter variation, cut the maraschino liqueur to a half-ounce and add a half-ounce of apricot brandy.
We found maraschino liqueur at Central Liquors, 917 F St. NW, 202-737-2800.
- 1 1/2 ounces dry gin, such as Tanqueray brand
- 3/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice and add the remaining ingredients. Stir vigorously, then strain into a chilled martini glass.
Adapted by Spirits columnist Jason Wilson.
Tested by Kelly L. Johnson.
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