September 2014 - Aviation American Gin

Monthly Archives: September 2014

Celebrating Honey Month, Take 2

Honey is one of nature’s wonders that makes the world a much better place. I would like to start this post by thanking the bees, without which honey would not exist. It’s a food that I use in my tea, with my breakfast, and, of course, in my cocktails. So, as part two of our National Honey Month observance I would like to present you with a few of my favorite honey cocktails.

John Daley’s Revival



  • 1 1/2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 3/4 oz Freshly pressed lemon juice
  • 2 quarter slices Peach
  • 6 leaves Mint
  • 3/4 oz Honey syrup*
  • 2 oz Aldagio Organic Black Tea


  1. In a pint glass, lightly muddle peach and mint
  2. Add spirits & mixers (through honey syrup)
  3. Fill with ice & shake vigorously for 30 seconds
  4. Fine strain into an ice filled highball glass
  5. Top with black tea
  6. Garnish with a mint tip
  7. *To make honey syrup; combine equal parts honey to heated water and stir until honey is dissolved, let cool


Beers Knees




  1. In a pint glass, add spirits & mixers (through honey syrup)
  2. Fill with ice & shake vigorously
  3. Fine strain into a chilled collins glass with or without ice
  4. Top with Hefeweizen
  5. Garnish with a lemon wedge
  6. *To make honey syrup; combine equal parts honey to heated water and stir until honey is dissolved, let cool

Chamomile Hot Toddy



  • 1 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
  • 1/2 oz Freshly pressed lime juice
  • 1/2 oz Honey syrup*
  • 2 oz Chamomile hot tea


  1. In a mug, add spirits & mixers (through honey syrup)
  2. Stir
  3. Top with hot tea
  4. Garnish with a lemon wheel
  5. *To make honey syrup; combine equal parts honey to heated water and stir until the honey is dissolved, let cool


-Alex Hutchinson, Marketing Intern 


How To Celebrate National Cherries Jubilee Day

Cherries Jubilee

Cherries Jubilee was invented for Queen Victoria. Imagine, the woman responsible for inspiring the prudish philosophies that defined the Victorian era, enjoying cherries poached in simple syrup, cooked in brandy, and served over vanilla ice cream. Such decadence for such a composed lady.


Queen Victoria

Georges-Auguste Escoffier created this simple masterpiece among Victorian Desserts for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. Escoffier was the Ferran Adria of his day. He revolutionized old French cuisine. He had book deals, taught expensive cooking classes and remains very famous. Bourdain calls him a “hustler” in an interview for the Eat Life blog (October 29, 2009). Without Escoffier we would not have Julia Child. She learned much from La Guide Culinaire. In fact, without this celebrity chef French Cuisine may never have made its way into the American cultural spectrum.

And, without creativity and experimentation in the kitchen there would be no celebrity chefs. I am certainly not attempting to gain notoriety for my recipes. However, the persistent thought of Aviation American Gin cherries flambe, lemon sorbet, and a drizzle of Jack Rudy’s Tonic syrup has me inspired to set fruit aflame. I even had sepia-toned, silent film-style, dreams of preparing the dish tableside for a very staunch Queen Victoria and a smirking Monsieur Escoffier. In reality, the stainless steel pan full of Bing cherries set to flame in my little apartment turned out tres bon.

Aviation Gin & Jack Rudy Tonic Cherries Jubilee


The rules:

  • Use real cherries, not canned cherries!
  • Taste test as you go, but be careful not to get burned!
  • Be bold, not Victorian!


  • Scoop sorbet into serving dishes and keep in freezer until ready to serve.
  • Wash and pit cherries. Place cherries and sugar in a large sauce pan. Peel two wide strips of lemon zest and add to the cherries. Squeeze juice of half the lemon over the cherries. Stir to combine evenly. Cover and cook the cherries over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves—four minutes or so. Uncover and cook over medium-high heat until the cherries get juicy—five minutes or so.
  • To flambe the gin: If cooking over a gas flame, pull the pan full of cherries off heat and add the gin. Ignite the alcohol, being careful not to set yourself aflame. Swirl the pan slightly until the flames subside.  If cooking over electric heat, put the gin in a small sauce pan separately. Warm it over medium-low heat and carefully light it with a match. Pour the lit gin over the cherries, and swirl the pan until the flames subside.
  • Scoop the cherries and their juices over the prepared sorbet scoops. Drizzle an even amount of the three tablespoons of tonic syrup over the serving.

Don’t be Victorian, no prudish servings. Enjoy this tart concoction alongside an Aviation’s Gin & Tonic with your brazen Francophile friends. Happy National Cherries Jubilee Day!

-Rena Hartman, Manager & Sales Lead

Crunchy Leaves and Hot Toddies; It’s Officially Fall!

Bloomsbury Warmer

Whether the sight of golden, red and brown leaves twirling in the air and the smell of sweet northwest rain looming around every corner depresses or excites you, hopefully you can agree that hot toddy weather is something to be happy about. Nothing helps combat the inevitable cold like a soothing, warm beverage. Recently I have discovered that hot toddies, while fantastic with darker spirits, are quite incredible with gin.  Though a classic hot toddy made with a spirit of choice, hot water, lemon and honey is always a hit, I’ve been experimenting with using tea instead of just hot water. Thus far my favorite combination is a “Bloomsbury Warmer,” a combination of Aviation American Gin, hot earl grey tea, lemon, cane sugar, and orange bitters.  This drink is sure to please even your most summer-loving companions and it couldn’t be easier to make.  Celebrate the first official day of fall tonight with a delicious warm cocktail!

Bloomsbury Warmer (serves 10)*



  1. Mix all ingredients in a heat resistant bowl
  2. Separate into mugs
  3. Garnish with lemon wheels

*If you only want enough for one; make 4 oz of strong earl grey tea, add 1-2 oz of Aviation American Gin, 1 oz lemon, 1 tsp. sugar and 2-3 dashes orange bitters.

Stay cozy,

-Christina Shapalis, Marketing and Retail Assistant

Boozy Parties – Part 2


You are too a bartender: I recently had some friends swear to me that they could not make more than a gin and tonic, which I assured them did not have to be true for much longer. So I invited several of these friends over to prove to them that in several easy steps they could put together some knock-out cocktails.

Tom Collins
I chose a fairly simple cocktail, but one that offers some versatility: The Tom Collins. This drink is a classic and perfect, because once you learn the basic template, you can muddle in different fruits and herbs to create endless variations. We each chose different fruit/herb combinations and the results were a few very different cocktails, yet, all unanimously voted delicious.
Step 1: 
Buy spirits, lemons, and the fruits and herbs of your choice. Also be sure to make simple syrup to have on hand by simply adding equal parts sugar and hot water and stirring until completely dissolved.
Step 2: 
Begin cocktail making. Start by choosing a fruit and herb combination. I chose blackberry & sage. Muddle in a pint glass.
Step 3:
Squeeze and measure 1 oz lemon into the glass, add 3/4 oz simple syrup, and 2 oz Aviation American Gin.
Step 4:
Fill glass with ice and shake, shake, shake until the glass is frosty.
Step 5: 
Strain into a collins glass filled with ice and top with soda water (generally about 2 oz).
Step 6:
Garnish and enjoy. Check you out, fancy bartender.


-Richelle Thorpe, Retail Manager


National Punch Day, It’s a Thing

We’ve all heard of those “national days”, like National Pizza Day, National Dress Up Your Pet Day, or National Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day (it’s real, I looked it up). Many of these “holidays”, if they can be considered as such, are merely a 24-hour period dedicated to reveling in our favorite foods/animals/other very bizarre things that really have no need for celebration other than that we want to celebrate them. But, as with Cinco de Mayo and St. Patrick’s Day (two holidays that are tied to the cultures of countries other than our own) we all love to celebrate when we can, especially if there’s drinking involved. You may have read my last blog (if you didn’t, I highly recommend it) about National Milkshake Day, which is obviously a day worthy of writing about. Well, for those of you who are behind on your national days, National Punch Day is on Saturday (September 20th)! You may think “punch” as in that very aggressive  movement Rocky does in Rocky parts 1-19, but I mean punch as in that delicious drink you always see teenagers spiking at a school dance in the movies (which is highly illegal and we do not condone). Luckily for us here at Aviation, punch is one of our favorite drinks to add gin to! So, in honor of a national day worthy of celebration, I give you an assortment of Aviation based punch cocktails.

Aviation Spiked Fruit Punch



  • 12 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 6 oz Freshly pressed lemon juice
  • 4 oz Freshly pressed orange juice
  • 4 oz Organic strawberry jam syrup*
  • 6 oz Sparkling apple cider
  • 6 oz Soda water


  1. In a large mixing bowl, add spirits & mixers (through strawberry jam syrup)
  2. Cover and cool
  3. When ready to serve, add sparkling apple cider, soda water, ice and stir
  4. Garnish with sliced strawberries and orange wheels
  5. *To make organic strawberry jam syrup; combine 2 oz jam with 2 oz heated water and stir until jam is dissolved, let cool

Serves 8

Peach Pimms Punch




  1. In a large mixing bowl, gently muddle the cucumber and mint
  2. Add spirits & mixers (through water)
  3. Fine strain
  4. Cover and cool
  5. When ready to serve, pour into a punch bowl over ice, add peach soda and stir
  6. Garnish with mixed berries and mint tips

Serves 8

Champagne Punch



  • 12 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 4 oz Cointreau
  • 8 oz Freshly pressed lemon juice
  • 4 oz Water
  • 4 oz Organic strawberry jam syrup*
  • 3 Lemons
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 16 oz Dry brut champagne


  1. Peel three lemons (yields approximately 24 lemon peels)
  2. Combine lemon peels with sugar and muddle gently, stirring occasionally; let sit for at least 20 minutes
  3. Add spirits & mixers (through strawberry jam syrup)
  4. Stir until sugar is dissolved
  5. Fine strain into a separate container
  6. Cover and cool
  7. When ready to serve, pour mixture into a punch bowl over ice
  8. Add champagne and stir
  9. Garnish with sliced lemon wheels and sliced strawberries
  10. *To make organic strawberry jam syrup: combine 2 oz jam with 2 oz heated water and stir until jam is dissolved, let cool

Serves 8

Be sure to check out these other punch recipes on our website:

Cheers to a happy National Punch Day!

-Alex Hutchinson, Marketing Intern


photo 3
Oktoberfest has a long and storied history in Germany. It originated in 1810 as a celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The citizens of Munchen, Germany were invited to attend festivities on a great field named after the Princess, Theresienwiese. Often the people of Munich refer to Oktoberfest as “Wiesn”. (Wiesn sounds a lot like the German word for wheat (weizen) if you ask me.) The festivities often showcased the agricultural prowess of German farmers, and included horse races. Many would say the correlation of German farm-culture and brewing is at the heart of this wonderful celebration.  In the last 100 years the festival has become notorious for the special brews made for the day. In fact, there are strict regulations regarding what types of beers can be served, and how, over the 16 day festival.
 photo 1 (1)
I hail from a rich German and Scandinavian background, and my father certainly celebrated his German heritage in our household. I spent many nights playing in the basement of our family home ogling the extensive Beer Stein collection he had gathered during his travels in Germany. Beautiful ceramic and glass mugs to be kept full and keep the delicious brews cold. My father instilled in me a true understanding of  how any culture’s brews and distillates spoke to their development, agrarian past, and their traditions.
 photo 1
America today is rife with wonderful craft breweries and distilleries. In my lexicon, Schell’s Brewing Company in New Ulm, Minnesota stands out. August Schell ran a tight brew house (since 1860), and was able to keep his brewery alive through The Dakota Wars, thanks to a friendship nurtured between his wife, Theresa, and the Dakota Indians. After August’s death his son Otto and wife Theresa kept the brewery flourishing for a short time.
After the deaths of Otto and Theresa, George Marti, husband to Otto’s sister Emma, was able to keep the brewery open through 13 years of Prohibition in the US. This was a special feat considering the brewery sat separated by only a few counties from the country home of the infamous Andrew Volstead, father of Prohibition. In fact, Schell’s Brewing Company celebrates New Beers Day annually, as they were the first of a handful of breweries readied for production immediately after the repeal. Schell’s remains a family operation to this day, and frequently brings home medals from tasting competitions.
So, what better to pair with this award-winning brew than Aviation American Gin, the highest rated gin in the world? Below is a recipe for a beer cocktail combining my nostalgic sentiment for my father’s Oktoberfest parties, my love for my home state of Minnesota, and my adoration of Aviation American Gin. Oktoberfest runs September 20 to Sunday, October 5, 2014. Go on and gather your friends, sound a bell to ring in the festivities, and enjoy this Oktoberfest cocktail whilst dancing around in your dirndls and lederhosen. And, as the Dutch (inventors of gin) and Germans would both toast: PROST!

Oktoberfest Beer Cocktail

 photo 2



  1. Combine Aviation American Gin, vermouth, 3 heavy dashes bitters, and simple syrup in a shaker or mixing glass full of ice
  2. Stir for 30 seconds and strain into a tall glass
  3. Top with beer
  4. Enjoy this flavorful Autumn cocktail
– Rena Hartman, Manager & Sales Lead

I’ve Got a Death Grip on Summer


I’m not ready to leave summer behind. I’ll go kicking and screaming into fall and winter. To prove it, you can find me clinging on to all my summer favorites like flip flops, sun dresses and popsicles. While some of the best summer fruits and berries are hard to find, you can still easily get your hands on a pint or two of blueberries. Below is my recipe, adopted from this recipe, for Aviation Blueberry Pops. Make up a batch and then enjoy them in the last of the summer sun rays.


  • 1 cup Fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup Freshly pressed lemon juice
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Aviation American Gin


  1. Lightly muddle the blueberries so that most of the berries are juiced but some chunks remain
  2. Add lemon juice, sugar, water and gin
  3. Stir until sugar dissolves
  4. Pour into popsicle molds and let freeze

– Kelly Sanders, Head of Marketing

To Be A Patriot


Everyone who is old enough to remember knows where they were on September 11, 2001.  I was in chemistry class trying not to fall asleep when my teacher transformed from her usual happy self to a distraught and sullen person. The TV was rolled to the front of the classroom and the news was turned on.  The shock followed.  By the next period I was in Spanish class and I saw my dad appear in the doorway. I immediately began to cry. My mom was in Washington, D.C. for work and since the Pentagon had been hit my dad was unable to reach her.  Two hours later she called us from her cell phone.  She was okay, but stuck in the city. I felt selfish for the relief it gave me, when I knew so many others would not receive good news.  I lost many neighbors and friends that day and they, along with everyone else who lost their lives to senseless violence, deserve to be remembered.

Everyone at Aviation American Gin would like to thank those who serve our country and remember those who lost their lives on 9/11.

-Christina Shapalis, Retail & Marketing Assistant

My Milkshakes Bring All the Boys to the Yard


National Milkshake Day (Friday, September 12) is a day for rejoicing in the deliciousness that is a milkshake- the sugary, creamy, satisfying concoction of ice cream and nearly any other ingredients you feel the need to blend together. I’ve come to find that in my adult years I’ve become very good at converting childhood favorites into more adult-friendly versions, i.e. the Berry-Ginny Milkshake.  Coming up with a recipe that incorporated gin into a milkshake was a bit of challenge, with trying to maintain the thick consistency typical of a milkshake. Luckily for me, I have quite a sweet tooth, a fact that anyone who knows me can attest to, so I was happy to create a recipe by trial-and-error. After multiple rounds I found the perfect ingredient proportions for a Berry-Ginny Milkshake recipe that is sure to “bring all the boys to the yard”, as Kelis put it so cleverly.  


Berry-Ginny Milkshake


  • 3 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 3/4 cup Vanilla bean ice cream
  • 26 Blackberries
  • 2/3 of a Lemon (zest)
  • 5 tsps Sugar
  • 2 sprigs Mint


  1. Make Oleo-Saccharum- muddle lemon zest and sugar, then let rest for at least 20 minutes
  2. Pour lemon mixture, gin, and 20 blackberries into a blender
  3. Add ice cream
  4. Blend until smooth
  5. Pour into two glasses and garnish with 3 blackberries and a mint sprig each

Serves 2

-Alex Hutchinson, Marketing Intern


Celebrating Honey Month


Local honey is not only good for allergies and sore throats, but also for cocktails! Many people are familiar with simple syrup for cocktails (equal parts sugar and water mixed together) but there are many uses for less obvious syrups, such as honey or agave syrup.  These syrups are made the same way as simple syrup, dissolve one part honey (or agave) in one part hot water, and can be stored in your fridge for up to 10 days.  Since September is officially honey month, I am celebrating by whipping up some honey syrup and making a Honey Basil Deluxe.  This is perfect for using up some basil in the garden and still refreshing for these end of summer days.

Honey Basil Deluxe


  • 2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 2 large sprigs Thai basil
  • 3/4 oz Freshly pressed lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Clover honey syrup*
  • 2 oz Soda water


  1. In a pint glass, muddle the basil
  2. Add spirits & mixers (through honey syrup)
  3. Fill with ice & shake vigorously
  4. Fine strain into an ice filled collins glass
  5. Top with soda water
  6. Garnish with a large basil sprig
  7. *To make honey syrup; combine equal party honey to heated water and stir until honey is dissolved, let cool

-Christina Shapalis, Retail & Marketing Assistant

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