March 2014 - Aviation American Gin

Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Bees Knees, a History


As is the case with most things involving the combination of booze and history, the origin of the Bees Knees is hazy. What is known is that it was one of the few great classics to come out of Prohibition. During this time you had two options – either you had to pay a pretty penny for Mexican or Canadian spirits being illegally smuggled or turn to your own mint green kitchen range to make some harsh moonshine. Throw a little (or a lot of) juniper essence in there and you have “bathtub gin”. On a side note, this “gin” was never made or put in a bathtub as most people believe. It was only called as such because the area under the spigot of a bathtub provides more room to cut a bottle of this firewater with regular water.

Moving on, now you have this rough bathtub gin – and I’m talking rough. It needs help. Until now people are used to cocktails showcasing the main spirit – not so much anymore. The more juice or milk or syrup to cover the brash taste of the poorly made spirit the better. While it was a sad time for cocktails, there were a few glimmers of light – enter the Bee’s Knees.

I don’t know about you but lemon and honey brings me back to footed PJ’s and mom’s herbal remedies. I sometimes feigned a sore throat so that she would mix me some honey and lemon and I could lick on spoonful after spoonful of the delightful combination of sweet and sour. I’m automatically transported back to this very moment every time the first sip of an Aviation American Gin Bee’s Knees hits my tongue. There is a beautiful femininity brought on by the lavender and a sultry spice component thanks to the sarsaparilla and anise seed. Once you have discovered a Bee’s Knees made with Aviation American Gin, you won’t turn back. The complexity of the gin dances in unison with the honey and the citrus provides a balance that dries out the finish and will keep you going back for another…..and another.

Bees Knees

  • 2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 1 oz Freshly pressed lemon juice
  • 1 oz Clover honey syrup (1 part honey : 1 part water)
  1. In a pint glass, add spirits & mixers
  2. Fill with ice
  3. Shake vigorously
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  5. Garnish with a lemon disc or twist

-Kiowa Bryan – Brand Supporter LA

Windy City Live

House Spirits Distillery founder, Christian Krogstad, visited the set of Windy City Live in Chicago. Check out his recipes for garden fresh cocktails.

Blogger Roundup

We love making great drinks with our Aviation American Gin but we love seeing what other people do with it even more. Below we’re rounded up some of our favorite bloggers that have experimented with our gin. We think they’ve done a pretty good job, if we do say so ourselves.

Do you have a favorite Aviation American Gin drink you want to share with us? We’d love to try it.


A Cook’s Canvas


Common Thread


Death To Sour Mix


500 Tasting Sandwiches



Green Garnish

In honor of that classic Irish/American holiday, we’re rounding up our favorite St. Pat’s Day garnishes. A great garnish is key to dressing up any party. So, explore our St. Patrick’s Day Pinterest board and share your ideas with us here. We’d love to know what you’re doing.


-Kelly Sanders, Marketing Manager


St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail

Photo from Food & Wine
Photo from Food & Wine


Holidays are the perfect excuse to come up with themed and colorful cocktails.  Being mostly of Irish descent myself, St. Patty’s Day is a personal favorite holiday of mine. While most people for for the green died drinks, I’m looking forward to this cocktail from Food & Wine.  It is a Chartreuse Gin Daisy and is absolutely delicious.  See below for my version:


2 ¼ ounce Aviation American Gin

¼ ounce Yellow Chartreuse

¾ ounce Freshly pressed lemon juice

¼ ounce Agave nectar

Dash of Orange bitters

1 brandied cherry as garnish


In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, yellow Chartreuse, lemon juice, agave nectar and orange bitters. Fill the cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the cherry.

– Christina Shapalis

Goodbye Tequila, Hello Gin


Margaritas. There are many different ways to make them, but one thing we can all agree on is that they are DELICIOUS! One of the many benefits of working at a distillery is I have gotten the opportunity to play around with different cocktails. My first eye-opener was trying an Old Fashioned Cocktail made with our Aviation American Gin instead of whiskey and being blown away by how much I loved it. That was when I first realized that I could start substituting spirits in classic drink templates. Which brings us the cocktail of the hour: The Aviation Margarita. Try it and be surprised.

2 oz Aviation American Gin
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Freshly pressed lime juice
1/4 oz Simple syrup
In a mixing glass, combine all spirits & mixers. Add ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a ice filled glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.
-Richelle Thorpe, Retail Manager and Gin Lover

Cold Cooked Cocktails


The newest trend in bartending? Cooked cocktails – but not how you might think of them! The gap between the kitchen and bar is narrowing and we’re talking more than just hot toddies here. This new methodology goes one step further, fusing fermented and pickled foods, eggs, jams – and even vinegar – to mix up bold new flavors you’d typically just find plate–side.

Put down the fork and pick up the shaker! After the jump experience four tangy cold-cooked cocktails that are easy to whip up at home with a few simple, yet spirited, ingredients!


“Kimchi (김 치) is the ubiquitous spicy Korean pickled and fermented food, the cabbage variety being the most common. While the flavor of gin and kimchi are obviously different, there is a exquisite overlap – shake up your rocks glass with this unique blend of spicy and tangy. To balance the pungent nose of kimchi use sweet (i.e., red) instead of the classic dry vermouth.” – Excerpt  from 500 Tasty Sandwiches.

Recipe for the Kimchi Martini can be found here.

Sure, you’ve often wondered about, but ultimately shied away from using eggs in your drinks. Crack the code and a delicious new way to incorporate eggs, from right out of the shell – and into your shaker.

Recipe found here.
In the same way sushi is ‘cooked’ with vinegar, drinks are given depth of flavor with drinking vinegars, or shrubs, which is a tangy infusion of fruit, vinegar and sugar. You, too, can create drinking vinegars with just a handful of simple ingredients that are already in your own pantry!
WINTER PUNCH by Chris Amirault, Eveleigh in LA
Serves 16 – 20
32 oz Aviation American Gin
12 oz  Apple cranberry shrub (recipe below)
12 oz  Freshly pressed lime juice
6 oz Simple syrup
2 oz Fernet Branca
16 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
12 fresh mint sprigs (for garnish)
2 cups of cranberries (for garnish)
8 oz Soda water
Preparation: In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir. Add ice. Serve. Apple Cranberry Shrub Recipe
2 bags Fresh cranberries
10 Gala red apples
2 cups Evaporated cane sugar
2 cups Water
3/4 cups Apple cider vinegar
4 oz Applejack
12 Cinnamon sticks
Cook ingredients down until it starts to boil, then leave on simmer for 2 hours
For a punch of flavor, bartenders have been turning to homemade jam to pack on the pow. Flavors and fruit garnishes are also allowed to ‘cold cook’ overnight for extra wallop of fruit essence. Direct traffic through your fridge to experiment with this trend on a major budget.

Aviation Spiked Fruit Punch


Recipe found here.
Oleo saccharum is created when lemon peel is macerated with sugar to extract the oils from the citrus. It offers punches and cocktails rich flavors and elegant aromas. It’s easier than you think to extract delicious and versatile oil from lemons and other citrus.

Recipe found here.

Oleo Saccharum Recipe

Peel three lemons (yields approx. 24 lemon peels). In a deep mixing bowl, combine lemon peel and sugar. Muddle. Stir occasionally. Let sit for at least 20 minutes.

The Aviation Cocktail and Me


When it comes to widely approachable “delivery vehicles” used to get spirit tastefully into one’s piehole, few have had more challenges than our juniper -drenched friend gin.  Just think about it, when it comes to vodka, you have an endless array of easy to drink options for all palate levels, from the beautiful nothingness of a vodka soda to the default shaken cocktail of the party set; the Cosmopolitan.  Rum, well, you’ve got rum and cokes and mojitos…tequila, the margarita…whiskey, where the heck does one begin??? … But gin, gin can be a monster challenge.


So, I first jumped behind the stick in late 1996 and from the beginning it seemed pretty clear to me that there  were only two things you did with this gin stuff, you either rocked out an ice cold glass of liquid juniper (the gin martini) or combined it with the alienating bittersweetness of the gnarly tonic waters flowing from the guns day.  And needless to say, neither of these offerings were bringing new drinkers into the category. Thankfully, the early 21st Century brought an extraordinary awakening of passion and craftsmanship in the world of mixed drinks, and further helped to unearth long forgotten vintage drinks, many of them, with the sweet and sour balance points that many of today’s imbibers have been known to prefer.


Not the least of them, and certainly the most important one with regards to my journey, was none other than the Aviation Cocktail, a drink that obviously factored greatly into the creation of our gin.  Now, my first experience with this drink was glossing over it in Paul Harrington’s canon Cocktails of the 21st Century, but the “Aviation” experience that changed my life, was my first sip of “2013’s most googled cocktail” at the Olive’s Bar at the Bellagio Hotel in 2003.  I will never forget that “aha moment” when I realized that gin’s challenge wasn’t so much the gin itself, but the ways us bartenders were serving it.  And I knew right then, that if universally delicious vintage drinks like the Aviation (a simple combination of gin, crème de violette, maraschino liqueur, and freshly pressed lemon juice) were re-introduced, the entire category might just come back to life.  Which leads us to 2006, when my partners and I at House Spirits Distillery in Portland, OR had finally completed our recipe for a regionally inspired gin that was made to be uniquely  balanced allowing all of our botanicals the opportunity to have their little liquid voices heard.  And one of our inspirations for the gin, of course, was to get people to rethink their doubts about the opportunity to find each their own “life changing gin drinking experience,” an idea that would eventually lead us to name our gin after the cocktail that was already creating just such experiences for imbibers around the world.


-Ryan Magarian, Co-founder of Aviation American Gin

Welcome to

You must be of legal age to purchase alcohol to view this website.

Please verify your birthdate: