February 2015 - Aviation American Gin

Monthly Archives: February 2015

National Cherry Month

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The ingredients for The Aviation Cocktail

February is almost over and so is National Cherry Month. We didn’t want the month to slip away without indulging in our namesake cocktail, The Aviation. This pre-prohibition cocktail is not only delicious, it is beautiful and will impress any guest.

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-Christina Shapalis, Aviation Team Member

Brewstillery Fest

brewstillery event

This upcoming Saturday on February 28th we’re excited to participate in the first-ever Brewstillery Fest held by local Portland brewery Stormbreaker Brewing. In this event, local distilleries and breweries are pairing their spirits and beers together to create never-before-seen delicious and unique drinking experiences. To my knowledge, this is the first event of its kind ever held, and it’s been a really fun process so far.

For this event we’ve paired our Aviation American Gin with Juggling Plums Gose, brewed as a collaboration by our friends at Breakside Brewing along with Fat Heads Brewery. Gose is a traditional German slightly sour ale style that is usually brewed with additions of salt and coriander. In this case, Breakside has used the Japanese salted plum, umeboshi, to provide the savory and salty component, making for a tasty and one-of-a-kind beer.

A few weeks ago, as we tasted possible entries (hours of hard work, you know…) I threw out the idea of pairing Aviation and the gose almost as a lark. But the pairing soon became our favorite, as the tart and savory aspects of the beer worked seamlessly with the botanicals of Aviation. By alternating sips of spirit and beer, hidden nuances of each came to the front; this is probably my favorite part of pairing these beverages.

If you’re in the Portland area this weekend, I encourage you attend this event, as the sneak preview of pairings I had were delicious and well-considered. If you can’t attend though, you can always play around with your own spirit/beer pairings. Aviation American Gin and a really hoppy American IPA, why not? Festlig Krogstad Aquavit and a dry stout – always a delicious combination. Give it a whirl, and let us know if you come up with anything good. Cheers!

– Andrew Tice, Head Distiller

Cooking with Sarsaparilla

Root Beer Float

One of the best parts of working for Aviation American Gin is opening the door to the distillery only to smell the array of botanicals steeping in the gin tanks. Sarsaparilla has that sweet smell of spicy vanilla that makes you think of root beer floats and summer. The smell can’t help but inspire you to get into the kitchen and create something equally delicious.

With sarsaparilla on the brain, I pulled out the slow cooker and some pork tenderloin and made these BBQ Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches. With only three ingredients, you can’t beat this simple dinner.

Root Beer Pork

For dessert, the obvious choice is a boozy root beer float.


I used 1/2 an ounce of Aviation for a low booze night but feel free to adjust to your own tastes.

-Kelly Sanders, Aviation Team Member

Boozy Parties – Part 4: Academy Awards Theme

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Aviation Dry Gin Martini

The 87th Academy Awards are this coming Sunday. What a wonderful excuse to get a few friends together, cast ballots and drink martinis! I like the idea of setting up a martini bar for a number of reasons; it’s easy, it’s classic and it suits the Academy Awards perfectly. There is no gin cocktail more iconic and prevalent in the movies than the martini.

Step 1

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Pick your players

I love that a martini bar works wonderfully whether it has a few key players or a whole bunch. I decided to keep mine simple and offer the ingredients to make an Aviation Dry Martini and a 50/50 Split, though I could have added Volstead Vodka and Imbue Petal and Thorn Vermouth and started mixing up Portland Vespers as well. The options are there! And not only with the style of martini, but the types of garnishes. I provided lemon twists and olives, two of the most classic.

Step 2

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The martini-makings are ready for action

Oscars Blog

Lemon twists for garnish

Set out your key players, cut up a few twists (I used a channel knife to make it easier) and lay out other martini-making necessities. I included martini glasses, ice, a mixing tin, bar spoon, a shaker (for those who prefer their martinis, shaken not stirred), cocktail napkins, and toothpicks.

Step 3

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Grab a martini and cast your ballot!

I printed off Oscars Ballots, which you can do here, and had friends fill them out. To fill it out each person threw in $5 to a pool and whoever gets the most right will take home the big money! You can do that ahead of time, or just before the Oscars kick off on Sunday. It makes it more exciting to watch and it is always fun to make predictions. This is a simple and awesome way to enjoy the 87th Academy Awards this weekend.

And the Oscar goes to….

-Christina Shapalis, Aviation Team Member

Haus Punch

Sundance 2015 5

Thanks to the crew of Church & State Spirits Co., Aviation American Gin punch was served at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Here’s what the film industry elite were sipping on this year.

Airbnb | Sundance

Haus Punch

Airbnb | Sundance


  • 1 1/2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 3/4 oz Meyer lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Cream Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Cardamaro
  • 1/2 oz Carrot/Maple Wassail syrup (includes cinnamon, clove, allspice and black pepper)
  • 2 dashes Angostura


  1. Combine all ingredients and shake with ice
  2. Pour into an ice filled glass and enjoy

-Kelly Sanders, Aviation Team Member

Presidents Day

George Washigton

On Monday, February 16th 2015, Americans celebrate Presidents Day. This holiday, originally known as Washington’s Birthday, and intended to commemorate just that, dates back to 1796, the last year of our first president’s time in office. Two hundred plus years and 44 presidents later, the holiday has expanded to include and honor all of our country’s leaders past, present, and future. While the holiday itself has seen quite a few changes in name, date, and intention, the way we celebrate has not. Traditionally, great galas and banquets are thrown in Washington, D.C. in the name of America’s leaders, while elsewhere students and workers alike revel by taking a day off from their respective duties. And of course, in the great American tradition, this holiday wouldn’t be complete without a couple delicious American cocktails.

When deciding what to make for what is one of our country’s most patriotic holidays, I decided to take a look back at some of our past presidents’ favorite cocktails and recreate them. In doing so, I learned quite a bit about the history of spirits and alcoholic beverages in the United States. Most of our earliest presidents enjoyed whiskey, champagne, and hard cider above anything else, which make sense since cocktailing culture did not become popular until the mid-1800’s. Additionally, many of our most esteemed presidents (notably Washington, Lincoln, and Hayes) rarely drank at all! In the end, though, I found five staple gin cocktails to try out and serve for my own Presidents Day festivities, all easy to make and historical to boot!

Pres Blog

1) William McKinley was a huge fan of one of my favorite cocktails, the Gin Rickey, which is not only simple and delicious, but extremely refreshing.

Aviation Rickey



  1. In a collins glass, add ice, spirits & mixers
  2. Top with soda water
  3. Stir and enjoy!

2) Both Ronald Regan and Rutherford B. Hayes are said to have been fans of this sweet drink, though Regan took his with vodka rather than gin. Regardless, the Orange Blossom is a real treat in any season!

Regan’s Orange Blossom Special



  1. In a cocktail glass, add ice, spirits & mixers
  2. Stir and enjoy!
  3. *Use soda instead of grenadine for a lighter, fizzier cocktail

3) Perhaps the best known gin cocktail, a good old fashioned Gin & Tonic is reportedly a favorite of 42nd President Bill Clinton.

Aviation’s Gin & Tonic



  1. In collins glass, add ice, spirits & mixers
  2. Stir
  3. Garnish with a lavender sprig (lime wedge works too!)

4) Calvin Coolidge was the first post-Prohibition president, and apparently liked this cocktail so much they named it for him! While the Coolidge Cooler is traditionally made with vodka, I substituted Aviation American Gin which played wonderfully with the sweet citrus and oaky whiskey.

The Coolidge Cooler



  1. In a pint glass, add spirits & mixers
  2. Fill with ice and shake vigorously
  3. Fine strain into a chilled glass over ice
  4. Top with soda water and enjoy!

5) Unsurprisingly, the martini was far and away the most popular cocktail on the list. George Bush Sr., John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford, amongst others, were known to enjoy this simple and incredibly versatile drink.

50/50 Martini



  1. In a mixing glass, add spirits & mixers
  2. Fill with ice & stir
  3. Strain into chilled martini glass
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist

Happy Presidents Day!

-Rachelq Harman, Aviation Team Member

A Perfect Cocktail for National Grapefruit Month

Grapefruit Month blog
It’s that time of year again, you guys, and it’s a beautiful thing. That’s right, it’s National Grapefruit Month! A dry and tangy winter fruit, and one of the most nutrient-dense fruit juices you can find, grapefruit is full of Lycopene, vitamin C and other antioxidants to help keep your immune system safe from icky seasonal viruses. These health benefits, along with the lovely grapefruit’s sultry and refreshing flavor, help to get us through these seemingly endless winters. Throw some Aviation American Gin into the mix and these long nights will wind up getting a lot more fun… and delicious!

There are so many ways to incorporate grapefruit into your gin cocktail. Grapefruit bitters are a subtle introduction but can be perfect as an addition to a Martini or a Tom Collins, and grapefruit soda or sparkling water are a really great way to add some flavor to a low-key two-ingredient refresher. There is no substitute for freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice, though, and a little bit goes a long way. Also, you can tell yourself (and your guests) that you are imbibing a nutritious winter elixir with some added spirits. You health guru, you!

This timeless grapefruit cocktail is one of our favorites:

Salt & Pepper

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  • 2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 1 ½ oz fresh grapefruit juice (half of one grapefruit)
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice (half of one lime)
  • 3/4 oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters


  1. Line rim of martini glass with lime and dip into coarse salt
  2. Pour all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass
  3. Shake until chilled
  4. Fine strain into glass and enjoy!

-Emilyn Nelson, Aviation Team Member

Be Mine?

Happy Valentine’s Day, from the Aviation Team to You. Nothing works quite as well together as an Aviation & Tonic.


Illa Fizz; A Cocktail with Indian Sarsaparilla

Illa Fizz

Here is a perfect cocktail to bring out the Indian sarsaparilla used in Aviation American Gin:

Illa Fizz


  • 2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • .75 oz simple syrup
  • .5 oz egg white
  • Bar spoon tempus fugit creme de cacao
  • 3 dash RX sarsaparilla bitters
  • Soda water


  1. Dry shake all ingredients except soda water without ice in shaker
  2. Re-shake with ice
  3. Fine strain into a fizz glass or short Collins-without ice
  4. Top with soda slowly to create a nice tall head (See picture)
  5. Garnish: speared cherry with light grated nutmeg on top (one short grate)
  6. Serve with a striped paper straw (think soda fountain style)

-Brooke Arthur, Aviation Team Member

Cooking with Gin: The Great Experiment

gin pasta

Photo and recipe by Nick Evans

Aviation American Gin has so many rich and beautiful flavors, why limit yourself to only cocktailing with it. So feeling bold and brash, I used gin instead of vodka in my homemade pasta sauce and the results were amazing. It adds incredible subtle botanical flavors to the sauce. So this Valentines Day, purchase you favorite gin (Aviation American Gin of course!) and cook up a delicious pasta dish with extra little pizzazz!

Gin Penne Pasta

Recipe by Nick Evans


  • 1 pound Penne pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
  • 1 28 ounce can Diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup Aviation American Gin
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Cream
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh Basil, minced
  • Salt and pepper


  1. First, start by dicing up some onion and garlic. Add the olive oil to a medium pot with the onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook this over medium heat until the onions and garlic start to soften and it smells very fragrant.
  2. You don’t want the onions to brown at all. They should just get soft over medium heat which will take around 5-6 minutes. Then add in your tomatoes and sugar. The small amount of sugar balances some of the acidity of the tomatoes.
  3. You’ll want the sauce to be pretty smooth so you can blend it up with a stick blender or use a normal blender. If you’d rather go with a more rustic version of the sauce, mash the tomatoes as they cook.
  4. At this point your sauce will be pretty standard, but it’s about to get a big flavor bump as you starting adding Aviation.
  5. Bring this sauce to a simmer and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly. You’ll want to cook off most of the alcohol and mellow some of the gin flavors. You’ll know when it’s ready because the sauce won’t smell intensely of alcohol.
  6. As a final step stir in some cream which will even out some of the flavors and give the sauce a nice, rich texture. Any time I’m trying to make a really good tomato-based pasta sauce, there are two ingredients that I almost always include, real Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
  7. Add a good amount of these to the sauce and season the sauce with salt and pepper. I recommend finishing the sauce and then just keeping it warm while you work on the pasta. For the pasta itself, just cook it according to the package. While I guess you could use any pasta, I think penne works perfectly for this dish.
  8. As soon as the pasta is drained, toss it into the sauce and stir it all together. Even though it will look like a lot of sauce, as you stir in the pasta, all that sauce will get trapped in the penne pasta and your meal will be set!

For the final touch, pile it in a huge bowl and add some basil and cheese to the top and ENJOY!

-Richelle Thorpe, Aviation Team Member

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