June 2014 - Aviation American Gin

Monthly Archives: June 2014

Aviation in The New York Times

Negroni Week is one of our favorite weeks of the year. This year, one of our highlights was sipping on a Negroni & the Goat from Stephanie Izard. You can find a copy of this recipe in The New York Times. A copy of the article is below.




The artist Geoff Brandberg illustrated the 12 cocktails being served up at tonight’s Negroni Social at the Rooster Bar in Portland, Ore. A collection of the sketches and their accompanying recipes are available in a book. For the fourth annual Negroni Social at the Rooster Bar at the rustic Italian restaurant Nostrana in Portland, Ore., the chef Cathy Whims recruited 11 of her female chef friends to contribute riffs on the quintessentially Italian cocktail. “I don’t know a chef that doesn’t adore a perfect Negroni,” explained Whims about her decision to recruit talent from the kitchen side of the house to dream up cocktail recipes. “As an aperitivo, the Negroni opens up your palate, kick-starts your digestion and prepares you for the meal ahead of you. It actually makes you think about all the flavors your are experiencing, and I think that’s part of why it lends itself to being so relevant to chefs developing their own versions.” And why females? “When we hit on the chef angle, I quickly brainstormed a list of my closest colleagues,” Whims said. “As it turned out, 75 percent of those who I had written down were women and I thought: ‘why not focus on female chefs this next year?’” The impressive roster of contributors includes Gabrielle Hamilton of Prunein N.Y.C. (who waxes poetic about Negronis in her autobiography, “Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef”), fellow PDXer Naomi Pomeroy of Beast in Portland and Nancy Silverton from L.A.’s Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza (who happens to have just won the James Beard Outstanding Chef award). All the recipes are rich with culinary touches: Beefeater gin infused with pink peppercorns makes an appearance, as do smoked kumquats, celery juice and sugared rhubarb curls. The inspiration for this year’s romp, which takes place the day after the conclusion of the globally celebrated Negroni Week, is Maurice Sendak’s illustrated children’s book “In the Night Kitchen.” Tonight, invited guests will dress on theme and sip all 12 of the concoctions, which the artist Geoff Brandenburg illustrated in the manner of Sendak’s casual pen-and-ink drawings. His sketches will grace the pages of a recipe-book-cum-calendar, sales of which will benefit the local charity Outside In. Each month, the Rooster Bar will serve up the designated chef’s libations. For those not lucky enough to attend tonight’s fete, the drinks dedicated to the summer months and their accompanying recipes are in the slideshow above.

Patio Pounders


Just imagine it – it’s sweltering outside, you’re either poolside or grill-side and you need to beat the heat. Chances are you’ll be reaching for something (an adult beverage perhaps?) to quench your thirst. But what’s worse than filling up on sugary synthetic mixers and high-calorie cocktails? A.K.A. Hangover Central.

This summer, we’re breaking away from the traditional pack-a-punch libations and opting for Patio Poundersthese are summertime cocktails that keep your thirst quenched and tolerance in check. Here are a few of our newest Patio Pounder recipes:



9 oz Aviation American Gin

9 oz Dry Riesling* (we suggest ANEW Riesling, Columbia Valley, WA)

4.5 oz DOLE pineapple juice (less than one small 6 oz can)

6 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

3 oz honey syrup 1:1 honey:water

12 oz soda water* (we suggest Q soda water)

Garnish with 1 whole sliced lemon wheels & 20 picked mint leaves

When ready to serve: Add ice about 3/4 of the way full into a 64 oz pitcher. Pour all ingredients into pitcher, plus garnishes, stir well, drink up!




1 1/2 oz Aviation American Gin

1 oz freshly pressed lemon juice

1 oz honey syrup*

1 Widmer Hefeweizen

In a pint glass, add spirits & mixers. Fill with ice & shake vigorously. Fine strain into a chilled collins glass with or without ice.

Top with Hefeweizen Garnish and lemon wedge.

*To make honey syrup; combine equal parts honey to heated water and stir until honey is dissolved, let cool.




1 1/2 oz Aviation American Gin

1 oz organic apple juice (unfiltered)

3/4 oz fresh pressed lemon juice

3 leaves basil

1/2 oz Honey Syrup*

In a pint glass, lightly muddle basil leaves.

Add spirits & mixers. Fill with ice & shake vigorously. Fine strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a basil leaf.

*To make honey syrup; combine equal parts honey to heated water and stir until honey is dissolved, let cool.


Great Balls of Fire

What is our fascination with fire anyway? Capture I have ironically chosen the profession of playing with ice, perfecting the balance of dilution and the race against heat. In all my experience of teaching and training bartenders and consumers how to make craft cocktails, I always find it interesting how we are so educated in heating ingredients to make a delicious meal for example, but find it difficult to understand how to cool ingredients to serve a eye opening, mouth watering cocktail.   So without further adieu, I introduce something magical, and easy to understand that can wow your guests, and add a little bit more depth in the flavor in some of your favorite cocktails, The Flamed Orange Peel!!   Here’s how you do it:

  1. Cut a round “coin” of orange peel, primarily pith, and as think as possible without getting into the flesh
  2. Light a match or lighter and hold the flame several inches above the cocktail.
  3. Hold the orange coin about two inches above the lit flame. Let it warm up over the flame for a couple seconds so it really lights up.
  4. Squeeze the coin with your forefinger and thumb over the flame in a quick pressing motion, almost squeezing it in half.

For a great how to, check out this post from Serious Eats. So cool right?! What does this do you ask? Well, when you express the oils from any citrus peel over a cocktail it sprinkles delightful and bright flavors that excite your palate, just as lemon peel does in a homemade gremolta.  Try a 50/50 aperitif martini, equal parts Aviation gin, a newly opened bottle of dry vermouth, and a couple of dashes of orange bitters, stirred up to a cold temperature with and without the much needed zested lemon peel, and you’ll see what I mean. Flaming the peel literally works like candying the oils and changes the flavor as it falls over the surface of the drink. Drop the zested orange coin in the drink for more intensity or leave it out. It’s not only flavor enhancer; it also grabs your guest’s attention and feeds our fascination with fire. I would say don’t try this at home, but that’s a bit of an oxy moron, so please just be careful. 😉   – Brooke Arthur, Director of On Premise Education and Outreach, House Spirits Distillery

Craft Association

The rise of craft spirits like our Aviation American Gin is revolutionizing the spirits industry.  Nielsen estimates that total volume of craft spirits is up +85% over the past year, and 1 in 6 households now regularly buy craft brands.  By most accounts, craft spirits are on pace to become an even greater force than craft beer has been, and some day soon these amazing brands could generate more than 10% of industry volume.  These are good times for craft distillers and for people everywhere who seek brands that are authentic and share their values.
Incredibly, all of this has happened without a trade association to help craft producers overcome the barriers created by larger competitors and by decades of over-regulation.  Neither craft brewers, nor independent winemakers, would be where they are without their respective trade associations.  Just how much bigger would craft spirits be with that sort of support?
We’re about to find out!
Over the past year, dozens of craft distilleries from around the country have worked tirelessly to establish the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), a non-profit advocacy group with an elected board and a clear mission – to remove the barriers that stand in the way of the craft spirits revolution.  A majority of the ACSA membership met earlier this year in Denver, CO, and at that gathering we were deeply honored to be elected the first president of ACSA.
Between now and the next ACSA convention, which will take place next February in Austin, TX, we will work closely with our peers from around the country to fight for tax fairness (we are severely disadvantaged versus both beer and wine producers), integrity (we will roll out a code of conduct that ensures honest labeling of craft brands), for media, trade, and consumer awareness of craft spirits, and much more.
How far will the craft spirits revolution go?  Nobody knows for sure, but as ACSA leaders we will do all we can to ensure that consumers, and not large competitors or overzealous regulators, have the final say.
-Thomas Mooney, CEO

Father’s Day


Father’s Day is a great time to bond with the old man and partake in activities that he finds amusing; such as golf.  If your dad is anything like mine he loves everything about golf, especially playing it.  Other than driving the cart around and washing the golf balls, I can’t say I enjoy much else.  That is, except for the days end refreshment…a Tom Collins.  With the classic taste of gin complimented with subtle lemon and sweetness, a Tom Collins makes for a perfectly delicious way to wind down at the end of a long day.  We always kick back with one or two of these after a nice summer day of golfing and it always feels pretty perfect.  For a little history on the cocktail and a recipe click here

-Christina Shapalis, Retail

Texas Style BBQ

Blog 2

BBQing in Texas is a right of passage during the summertime. everyone does it and everyone in an expert. For bartenders in central Texas grilling takes on a different meaning. We often don’t grill out on the usual Saturdays and Sundays. We’re to busy making fantastic cocktails and providing great service for the weekend warriors. So, this past week I invited a few of the industries brightest and best over to my place for a Monday grilling session. First off, we needed to figure out what we wanted to make. Rob Crabtree from newly opened bar Half Step took the reigns on this. he decided in true Texas fashion it was definitely a fajita kind of night. As Rob prepped the evenings meal, I “grilled” a couple other local bartenders on drinks. Trey Jenkins from long standing cocktail bar staple Peche wanted to play with a lighter more vegetal version of the Negroni. He decided on Aviation American Gin, Lillet blanc and Cynar (a artichoke bitter liquor) all equal parts stirred with large format ice. This cocktail would prove to pair perfect with rob’s grilled blistered shisoto peppers and grilled asparagus accompanied with early June weather here in Austin.

Next up I challenged Whitney Hobbs, also of Half Step, to come up with an equally delicious and appropriate cocktail for the main course. In a stroke of genius she quickly came up with a variation Joe the classic daiquiri. She takes 1.25 oz of Aviation American Gin, .75 oz of Ancho Chile Liquor, adds those to a mixing tin then quickly ads equal parts fresh lime juice and simple syrup .5oz per. Shakes all ingredients together and strains into a chilled coupe. Perfection! What is left is a perfect mixture of Aviation American Gin’s botanicals and the sweet smokey heat of the ancho chile liquor. with lime and sugar to perfectly balance out the cocktail. This plays perfectly with rob’s perfectly seasoned skirt steak that’s finished with grilled lime and peppers. I look forward to this summer as I’m sure there will be many more amazing Texas grill nights to come. times like these I’m glad a majority of my friends are bartenders.



_ Travis Tober, Brand Supporter, Texas

Bottle Art

While we might not be artists, we do know how to make a bottle of gin. We’re hoping there are better artists out there and to celebrate our distillery’s 10th anniversary, we want to hear from you. Show your love of Aviation by sharing your bottle art on our Facebook page. We recommend a good cocktail to help get the creative juices flowing.

Bottle 1Bottle 2Bottle 3Bottle 4Bottle 5

Summer Popsicle


Grown ups like popsicles too! With Summer just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to make some adult treats.

Salty Dog Popsicle

  • 1/3 Cup Aviation American Gin
  • 3/4 Cup Freshly pressed grapefruit juice
  • 1 Cups Water
  • 3/4 Cups Sugar

In a mixing pitcher, combine all ingredients. Pour into popsicle molds and let freeze over night. 

*Recipe adapted from Jewels of New York

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