December 2013 - Aviation American Gin

Monthly Archives: December 2013

First Day of 2014

The only way to celebrate the beginning of 2014 is to sleep in, enjoy a big breakfast and sip on a Red Snapper (the gin version of a Bloody Mary). Cheers!

Red Snapper


Red Snapper

3 oz Aviation American Gin
6 oz Tomato juice
1 oz Freshly pressed lemon juice
6 dashes Tabasco
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 pinches Celery salt
2 pinches Freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a glass filled with ice. Stir. Garnish with celery stalk, lemon wedge, olives, or anything you have in your fridge.

Winter Spiced Mule

With our recently posts on bitters and ginger beer, we thought a perfect cocktail that calls for both is the Winter Spiced Mule. If you are  looking for a cocktail to spice up the holidays, this is it.

1½ oz Aviation Gin

1 teaspoon Apple butter

¾ oz Freshly pressed lime juice

2 dashes Saffron cardamom bitters*

1½ oz Ginger beer


In a pint mixing glass, add spirits and mixers (through ginger beer).  Fill with ice.  Shake vigorously.  Strain into a double rocks glass filled with ice.  Top with ginger beer.  Garnish with a star anise pod.


*To make saffron cardamom bitters: Place 750ml of vodka, pinch of saffron and 2 oz of cardamom pods in a jar. Seal and shake daily for one week. Strain into a clean sealable jar for future use.

Easy Cocktails for New Year’s Eve

There is a lot of hype built up around New Year’s Eve. What to drink should be the easy part of the night. Sure, you can have a glass of champagne or you can add in a little gin and create a signature cocktail.  Here are some of our ideas for New Year’s Eve drinks.

French 75


Champagne Punch


French 14


The Jasmine Cocktail


The Faces Behind the Still

Miles and Andrew

Making a batch of Aviation American Gin take a whole crew of passionate people from distillers to bottlers and a few lucky people that make up the quality control panel. Today, we introduce you to two of our skillful distillers, Andrew Tice and Miles Munroe. Learn what makes them tick and how they got into, arguably, the best job on the planet.

Name: John Andrew Tice

Born: Lebanon, PA

Job: House Spirits Distillery Head Distiller

Where’d you get your distilling chops? I learned about brewing in New Zealand, Troegs Brewing in PA, and the American Brewers Guild. A lot of what I learned in brewing has translated well into distilling.

What’s your favorite drink right now? Krogstad Gamle Aquavit hot toddy

Why is Portland a good place to be a distiller? I think it’s the epicenter of the craft distilling movement. There are so many different distilleries doing different things and Portland is so supportive of locally-made, high-quality unique products. Craft distilled spirits represent the evolution in artisan beverages after craft beer and I think Portland intrinsically “gets” that.

Name: Miles Richard Munroe

Born: Wakefield, RI

Job: House Spirits Distillery Distiller

How’d you get into distilling? A bartending career led me to a great respect for Single Malts and small batch Bourbons. Hosting tastings turned into an interest in brewing with the knowledge that beer is directly related to certain whiskey styles. I was naturally very interested in the all-malted barley Westward Whiskey that House Spirits Distillery was producing and jumped at the chance when approached by Andrew.

What do you taste first when you drink Aviation American Gin? I expect a bright, clean rush of lavender and citrus right off the bat. It expands on the palate to reveal sweet cardamom and juniper edge.

Cocktails for the Holidays

When you ask your friends and family what you can bring to their party, and you work for a distillery, the answer is always, “why don’t you bring a cocktail.” With holiday parties happening every weekend, I’ve needed more than a handful of cocktail recipes. This year, I’ve been trying to make things simpler by bringing punches. Punches, for the most part, can be made ahead of time and cut down on the time I spend behind the bar. That frees up a lot more time to socialize. Punches happen to look festive too. Especially when you have a beautiful punch bowl. My favorites include the Champagne Punch, Soyers Gin Punch, and Dry Sherry Punch.



Soyers Gin Punch


– Kelly Sanders, Gin Lover

Gift Ideas for the Gin Enthusiast


My husband is a big fan of Gin and Tonics, so this year I have put together a totally unique and cool gin lovers gift. This “do-it-yourself” G&T kit will be in his stocking in just a few days. First and foremost, a well-balanced foundation is essential and that is Aviation American Gin.  Next is Jack Ruby Cocktail Co’s Small Batch Tonic.  This tonic syrup adds brightness and refreshment as well as the perfect touch of bitterness to any cocktail but makes an exceptional Gin and Tonic.  And for a little tongue-in-cheek fun, I will also include these great ice cube molds…Archie McPhee’s Gin and Titonic Ice Cube Tray. I may also throw in some cocktail glasses and limes, it will just depend on how much I can fit in his stocking!


– Amy Yukas, Director of Marketing



A Very Merry Mustache

Now that it is officially the holiday season, and we have all spent way too much time in crowed stores and listened to Jingle Bells play for the 247th time, I can’t help but find myself drawn to the time-honored tradition of the holiday drinking game.
Every year my family plays a holiday game chosen by a different family member. This year is my year and I plan to dazzle them with a little game I like to call: A Very Merry Mustache.
Simply put a mustache on your TV screen, pop in your favorite holiday movie, and every time the mustache lines up with someone’s face take a drink!
Happy holidays and please drink responsibly!
– Richelle Thorpe, Official Gin Taster

Bitters Explained – Part 2


For part two of the series, I’ll guide you through the satisfying process of making your own bitters at home. With so many cocktail recipes your first consideration should be the type of bitters you wish to make (a sturdy, spiced one for Old-Fashions, say, or Orange bitters to compliment a spectacular Aviation Martini).

There are essentially three basic components to a bitters’ construction – bittering agents, flavoring agents and the spirit you choose as the base. Once you have an idea of the general flavor these other aspects should then come into play accordingly. Angelica root and Gentian root, for example, are two very common bittering agents that may be found with general ease. A local herb or tea shop should also have a promising selection of ingredients should the grocery store prove lacking.
I’ve chosen one that will create a bitters with an encompassing, general use for various cocktails. The recipe comes from Brad Thomas Parsons who wrote a user-friendly book entitled “Bitters.” Here’s the rub (it makes about 20 ounces):
2 tablespoons chopped dried orange peel
Zest of 1 orange, cut into strips with a pairing knife
1/4 cup dried sour cherries
5 green cardamom pods, cracked (gentle pressure from the side of a kitchen blade works well)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped out (use both pod and seed)
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon quassia chips
1/4 teaspoon gentian root
1/2 teaspoon cassia chips
Pinch of dried black walnut leaf
2 cups high-proof rye, or more as needed
1 cup water
2 tablespoons rich simple syrup (With 2 cups of Demerara or turbinado sugar to 1 cup water, bring ingredients to a simmer. As soon as a boil breaks, remove from heat and let cool. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 month.)
All ingredients except rye, water, and simple syrup go into a quart-sized mason jar. Pour in all rye and add more if needed to completely cover ingredients. Seal jar and keep at room temperature out of direct sunlight for 2 weeks, shaking once a day. After 2 weeks, strain liquid through cheesecloth into a clean quart-sized jar. Repeat if necessary until all solids are removed. Cheesecloth may be wrung out for any excess liquid to capture. Cover jar and set aside.
Transfer solids to small saucepan and add water until they are covered. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover pan, lower heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let cool completely. Once cooled, add entire contents of saucepan to quart-sized mason jar, cover and store out of direct sunlight at room temperature for 1 week.
After 1 week, strain the solids out until completely removed. Add this to the original rye solution. Add rich simple syrup to jar and stir well, then cover jar and shake to fully dissolve syrup. Allow mixture to stand at room temperature for 3 days, skimming off debris that floats to surface once done. Filter through cheesecloth one last time before transferring to bottles of your choosing. The bitters will last indefinitely, but optimum flavor is best enjoyed within one year.

And there you have it! This delicious bitters can be enjoyed in an Aviation Negroni or a more adventurous Aviation Martinez – which is the Gin companion to a Manhattan. And now that you have the basic process down, you can begin to experiment with a variety of flavors.


– Miles Munroe, House Spirits Distiller

It’s beGINning to look a lot like Christmas

Gin Basket

What’s better than a bottle of Aviation American Gin under the Christmas tree? How about, everything you need to make your favorite drink?  Hence, the birth of the Gin Gift Basket.  Yes, a bottle of Aviation American Gin stands well on its own, but paired with bar tools, mixers, and recipe books it really feels complete. My ideal Gin Gift Basket would consist of: a holiday gin box (which includes a bottle of Aviation American Gin, a jigger, a shaker and a recipe booklet), a four-pack of Fentiman’s tonic water, a Scrappy’s Bitter sampler pack, an Aviation Collins glass, and the book Aphrodisiacs With A Twist.  Of course any of these pieces could be subbed out for your favorites, but the idea is the same; you’ve given the gift of a great cocktail waiting to be made and enjoyed at home with people you love.

– Christina Shapalis, Tasting Room Super Star

El “Perfect Serve”


Most of our friends are surprised when they learn that Spain is, by far, the largest export market for Aviation American Gin.  The truth is, it all happened very quickly starting in 2012, and nobody was more surprised than we were.

Why Spain?  We weren’t quite sure, so I decided to get on a plane (or three) and head to Barcelona last summer.  Nothing could have prepared me for what I found.  In the U.S., gin owes its explosive growth in cultural relevance (and volume) to the cocktail renaissance.  Foodies, particularly of the Millennial generation, have rediscovered what prior generations knew – cocktails are a sophisticated culinary expression, and gin is an indispensable component of most classic cocktails.

I digress.  What I found that summer in Barcelona, and later in Madrid and a half dozen other Spanish cities, is that cocktails (as we define them) are still outside of the Iberian mainstream.  What, then, are Spaniards doing with all that gin?  The improbable answer was the same in every place I visited, including institutions like Tandem, Ideal, Xixbar, Dry Martini, and more.  Gin & tonics!

But not just any gin & tonics.  Spain, which has influenced the food world through tapas, molecular gastronomy, and everything in between, has essentially reinvented the traditional highball of the East India Company.  What was once malaria medicine with a gin chaser has been elevated to an art form, with any self-respecting bar or restaurant featuring dozens of gins, tonics, modifiers and garnishes on their menu.  What’s more, every gin is presented in what the Spanish call its “perfect serve.”  In other words, a unique combination of tonic, modifier, and garnish that is the soul mate of a particular gin brand.

We believe that Spain’s contribution to the gin world will become increasingly visible and eventually popular in the United States.  You might wonder, then… what is the absolute best way to enjoy Aviation American Gin in a G&T?  We asked ourselves that very question, and in a follow up post my partners Ryan Magarian and Brooke Arthur will share their creations.  Until then… salud!

-Thomas Mooney, CEO

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