November 2013 - Aviation American Gin

Monthly Archives: November 2013

Books and Booze

The Craft of the Cocktail


We’ve got our eye out for great boozy holiday gifts this season and first up on our wish list is The Craft of the Cocktail written by Dale Degroff. The book is fantastic for experienced bartenders and those that only dabble in minor cocktailing. Covering history of each individual Spirit along with how they are made, how to properly use tools of the trade, and skilled bartending techniques, its the complete bartending book.  It’s all you need for tips on how to make the perfect drink from scratch using only fresh ingredients. Find your copy at the House Spirits Distillery Tasting Room or the Portland Airport location, located across from Gate D1 or a bookstore near you.

Thanksgiving cocktail

Apple Ginger Mule

Apple Ginger Mule



Need some cocktail ideas for Thanksgiving? We’ve always got you covered. The cocktail section of always has ideas for any event all year long but we thought we’d add a few new ones this Thanksgiving. See our favorite Turkey Day drinks below.

Sparkling Ambrosia

1 ½ OZ Aviation American Gin

1 OZ Freshly pressed lemon juice

1 teaspoon Orange marmalade

½ OZ POM pomegranate juice

2 OZ Sparkling wine

In a mixing glass, combine all ingredients through POM. Add ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Fine strain into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with an orange twist.


Mayflower Mule

1 ½ OZ Aviation American Gin

1 OZ Cranberry juice

¾ OZ Freshly pressed lime juice

¼ OZ Simple syrup (1:1)

1 ½ OZ Ginger beer

In a mixing glass, combine all ingredients through simple syrup. Add ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Fine strain into a double rocks glass filled with ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a speared lime wedge and two cranberries.

Barry Cocktail – Patrick Gavin Duffy, Official Mixers Manual 1934

1 ½ OZ Aviation American Gin

1 ½ OZ Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth

1 dash Orange bitters

2 leaves Mint

1 teaspoon Fernet

In a mixing glass, combine all ingredients, including mint. Add ice. Stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a spanked mint leaf.

Booze Bazaar

housespirits_holiday booze bazaar_flyer

Cocktail and Turkey Pairing

A House Spirits Thanksgiving
Everything’s Different!  Well, not everything, but in the past 2 days here in Portland, we’ve gone from a pleasant autumn brisk to the first true chilly temperatures of the year which means Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This is, of course, means a long and hopefully wonderful day with family and friends crushing turkey, sweet potato, and the like. Now, I don’t know about you, but the entire situation might just be that much better with a little distilled beverage thrown in to lighten the atmosphere and prop up smiles throughout the entire ordeal. 
But what to drink?
Of course, the wide availability of rich winter ales already available are a smart choice, but we think you can makes things a whole lot more exciting by throwing some spirits and cocktails into the mix.
It it were me, I’d start out with something to awaken my palate and get my salivary gland moving in anticipation of the big meal, and I can’t think of a more perfect drink than a classic Martinez made with Aviation American Gin, sweet vermouth, a touch of maraschino liqueur, and dash of Angostura Bitters to get the party started.  Now with my warm holiday smile and relaxed disposition firmly in place it’s time to roll into the dining room and start the slaughter. Here I want something that both stands up to the rich dishes of the season, while not overwhelming the star of the show. and I can’t imagine something working better than Westward. Finally, I might wrap things up Scandinavian style, by tipping in a dram of our Gamle Aquavit into a cup of dark roast coffee to bringing me back to life and send me home or out to meet friends feeling warm and recharged
– Ryan Magarian, Co-founder of Aviation American Gin

Pumpkin and Gin Pie Recipe

Looking for fall desert ideas? What about an excuse to bake with gin?


I’ve been looking for any chance to make a homemade pie crust this fall. So when I had a chance to make a pumpkin pie I was excited to try making it with gin. My secret to a tender flaky pie crust is adding just a bit of gin in place of water. It adds moisture and texture to the pie crust, without aiding in the gluten formation, which can make pie crust tough and just not as tasty.

Ingredients for Pumpkin and Gin Pie

  • *Pastry for 9-inch pie crust
  • 1 15 oz. can Pumpkin puree or equal amount pureed cooked pumpkin
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1-1/4 cup Whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • tsp. Freshly grated cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Tbs. Aviation American Gin

Gin and Ginger Cream Sauce

Gin Pie Crust

  • 3 Cups  Flour
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • *1 1/2 cups Shortening  ( I used 1 cup lard and 1/2 cup of butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 5 Tbs. Aviation American Gin

Note some recipes use all butter in place of shortening or a combination shortening and butter in the crust. For this recipe, I used lard and butter, but this is optional and can be substituted for shortening.


Cut shortening into salt and flour, until mix is the size of peas.



Add the egg and gin and form into a ball. Put the dough in the refrigerator for at least 45 min and up to 2 days. If the dough is too stiff, let it sit at room temperature for 10 min. Sprinkle a pinch of flour on the flat surface and rolling pin. Flatten the dough with your palm in a disk shape and roll from the center in all directions. Shape the dough and place it in the pie pan. Fill with pumpkin pie mixture.

pie crust

For the pumpkin and gin pie, I use this recipe with Aviation American Gin and added a bit more sugar. I like my pumpkin pie sweet!

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, blend the cream, sugar, spices and gin, then fold in the pumpkin puree. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pastry and fill it with the pumpkin mixture. Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 and bake for about 40 minutes more, until firm and golden brown.

pie filling

While the pie is baking, beat the cream until stiff then add the grated ginger and gin and stir. You can add a tablespoon of sugar in the cream if you like sweetness.

Once the pie has cooled, dust with confectioner’s sugar and top with Gin and Ginger Cream.

You are now ready for a cocktail and and some delicious pie.

– Casey Welsh, Marketing Intern

Homemade Syrups


Nothing is easier than making homemade syrup! My personal favorite for the fall and winter seasons is cinnamon syrup. I really enjoy a splash of this in my morning coffee to add some natural flavor, but it works surprisingly well in cocktails. A delicious variation of Poinsettia Punch is made with Aviation American Gin, lemon juice, grenadine, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Angostura bitters and of course, cinnamon syrup. This cocktail is to die for!

To make cinnamon syrup: simply simmer four cinnamon sticks in two cups of water for 10 minutes. Remove the sticks and add one and half cups sugar and keep on heat until the sugar dissolves, cool and enjoy!


Recipe for Poinsettia Punch:



  • Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker
  • Shake with ice
  • Strain into double rocks glass with fresh ice
  • Garnish with lemon wheel spiked with cloves

Recipe from

– Christina Shapalis, Tasting Room Super Star

Warm Aviation Cocktail

Gin Toddy
Looking to stay warm this holiday season? Try a warm Aviation Hot Toddy.
3/4 oz Freshly pressed lemon juice
1/2 oz Honey
3 oz Hot water
Combine all ingredients in a mug. Stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Garnish Your Cocktail

Garnish photo (10)

Garnishes have quickly become one of my favorite parts of making a cocktail. Not only do they add to the aroma of your drink right before you take that first sip, but they also add to the aesthetic, making it a drink you don’t want to take your eyes off of. So get creative with fresh fruits, herbs, and whatever else you can find. They are what people notice first, and looking back, often remember most.

The little things can go a long way. 
By Richelle Thorpe

Bitters Explained


What are bitters? Let’s focus on the definition and history of this infamous flavoring agent. To expound upon, and therefore, to give a better understanding of its role with cocktails and how they are putting creative freedom in the hands of bartenders and home advocates everywhere.

The name ‘bitters’ is a reference to category and while many can be bitter on their own they will not necessarily make a drink itself taste that way. It is because so-called bittering agents are used in their recipe to balance out sweetness from other additions. An infusion with high-proof alcohol, a wide variety of ingredients may be used to create each individual concoction; from roots and barks, to herbs and flowers. They have been touted as everything from cure-alls down to an after dinner indigestion rescue (even Angostura was formulated by a doctor who administered it to Bolivar’s troops).
When the decimation of cocktail culture from ‘The Great Experiment’ had set in, bitters were also all but forgotten. It is only recently with the rediscovery of classic drinks that these dynamic spirits have emerged from the past to shine again. Dashes of bitters can balance out a cocktail, add depth of flavor, highlight a certain aspect of the drink, or all three of these together. This gives people (professional and otherwise) much more opportunity to experiment with and explore the vastitude of flavor combinations had in the practice of mixology.
Try a dash of orange bitters yourself in a Gin & Vit.
– Miles Munroe, House Spirits Distiller

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