March 2015 - Aviation American Gin

Monthly Archives: March 2015

A Risk Takers Holiday

It seems this day and age there is a Holiday everyday. You just have to follow social media to figure out what a few people.. are celebrating.

How about celebrating risk? From a distillery that is known for taking chances and innovating successfully I think we should all celebrate and take a ‘day of risk’. After all, isn’t that what we are celebrating for the larger official holidays? People who took great risk which we acknowledge them for…

Let’s celebrate the risk we have taken and take some risk today with an Oregon Fashioned.

The Oregon Fashioned

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  • 2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 1/4 oz Simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Regan‘s No.6 Orange Bitters
  • 1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters


  1. In a mixing glass, add spirits & mixers
  2. Fill with ice & stir
  3. Strain into an ice filled double rocks glass
  4. Garnish with an orange slice

Cheers to all those risk takers!

-Stosh Jackson, Aviation Team Member

Game Night

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Even the dog is a Trail Blazers fan

My household is full of Trail Blazers basketball fans and board game lovers. I decided we needed to combine our love for both and have an ultimate game night. Last night the Trail Blazers took on Golden State and even though they lost, we kept our heads high, sipped Champagne Punch, and played some Rummikub.

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Key players for Champagne Punch

I went with a punch because you can prep them ahead of time, they are self-serve, and they are delicious. Champagne Punch is particularly delicious with the use of oleo-saccharum and Cointreau. Oleo-saccharum literally means oil-sugar and some would say is the key ingredient to punches. Luckily it is so easy to make! Simply peel lemons and muddle the peels with sugar. Let them sit until the oils in the peels are pulled out and you are left with…you guessed it…oily sugar! You are not limited to lemon peels of course, orange peels work perfectly as well.

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Oleo-saccharum in the making

I prepped the oleo-saccharum, juiced the lemons, and made the strawberry jam syrup ahead of time. Then I fine strained all the ingredients into a punch bowl and let chill. When game time came, all I had to do was add ice and champagne and get ready to have a fun night.

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Adding the bubbles

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Garnish with lemon wheels and strawberry slices

For full instructions on putting together Champagne Punch go here. You won’t be disappointed! And either will your guests.

Happy Gaming.

-Christina Shapalis, Aviation Team Member

World Drinks Awards

AAG Bottles

The 2015 World Drinks Awards took place on March 19 in London. Aviation American Gin happened to take home a couple design awards, which was a wonderful delight to our Aviation Team. We received World’s Best Gin Design and World’s Best Design. Furthermore, our design agency, Sandstrom, won World’s Best Design Agency.

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We worked hard to create a unique and functional bottle and are beyond pleased to have the design recognized by the World Gin Awards, a part of the prestigious World Drinks Awards program. The World Gin Awards reward and promote the best in gin taste and design across the globe. To another great year with our beautiful bottle!


-The Aviation Team

Slick Rick

Everybody loves a perfectly balanced cocktail. But sometimes you grow tired of the usual suspects and want to get creative. That happened to me last weekend and the resulting cocktail was delicious. You may want to try this at home.

Slick Rick




  1. In a pint glass, add spirits & mixers
  2. Add ice & shake vigorously
  3. Fine strain into a cocktail glass with fresh ice
  4. Top with soda water & garnish with a lemon wedge


-Zak Nelson, Aviation Team Member



Party Like My Grandma

Grandparents Bottle

While I didn’t know my grandparent’s in the 1950’s and 60’s, I love pouring over the old photos of them heading out in fur and gloves for cocktail parties at their neighbor’s homes. They looked great in their parties clothes and, if the photos are enough proof, they seemed to be prolific party goers.

Using them as inspiration for my upcoming gathering, I’ve put together a grandparent inspired throwback party. These glamour filled parties are actually rather easy to pull off. Here’s a step by step guide to pulling of the same kind a gig.

Grandparents Table

Step 1
Order up some real live paper invitations. I used these because, well, they didn’t have evite back in the 50s.

Step 2
Make, or buy, some deviled eggs, some pimento cheese spread, and a dish full of olives. These 1950’s and 60’s inspired appetizers are simple on on theme.

Step 3
Martinis, Gimlets and a good old fashion punch are just what your grandma and grandpa were tossing back. They are easy to make, and with a punch, all the work is done ahead of time, so you can kick back and enjoy your party.

Step 4
The decorations make this party. Things like vintage napkins, a great old punch bowl, thrift store glassware, decanters, and old bar carts really set the scene. But, if these items our too hard to find or too spendy, asking your guests to dress the part and placing some old family photos of your grandparents in their prime does the trick.


– Kelly Sanders, Aviation Team Member

What Would Lydia Deetz Drink?


My Spirit Animal, Lydia Deetz

It’s the second Friday the 13th of 2015 tomorrow. Otherwise known as “Black Friday”, the superstition surrounding the date and day is largely rooted in a series of weak, disconnected bits of fact. In the Western World the superstition is common, especially in North America. After the move from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar in 1582 periodic 13ths would fall on a Friday. For two to fall in a year is unusual, and unusual occurrences are my favorite reason to make cocktails and celebrate.

So, I got to thinking about all the dark and spooky things I like. My mind was rife with visions of my life-long love for the old Addams Family television program, the films of Tim Burton, my pursuit of information about American superstitions, my love of the American Spiritualist Movement of the early Nineteenth Century, and all things witchy. I ruminated on what I could do on this 13th Friday of March 2015 to bring all that together, have a well-themed evening, and just enjoy some spooky fun. So, I returned to the oracle of classy, goofy, darkness Beetlejuice, and I realized once and for all that Lydia Deetz is my spirit animal.

What would Lydia do on Friday the 13th? I think it would go a little something like this:

1) Garb herself in comfortable black digs;
2) Queue up some kitschy Calypso music (obviously Harry Belafonte is suggested);
3) Summon her ghostly pals, or her living pals that love the spooky;
4) Do a big tarot card reading (The Wild Unknown deck is my favorite);
5) And, create her favorite cocktail to enjoy.


And, what would Lydia Deetz drink?

The Dorflinger Cocktail is the obvious choice.

The Dorflinger Cocktail is named for the early 20th Century glass maker out of White Mills, Pennsylvania. This incredible glass maker operated and manufactured during the “brilliant period” from 1850 through the early 1900s, and created a large array of what we know as pre-Prohibition cocktail vessels. I’m certain that Lydia Deetz, if she were a real life lady in her early 30s, would have a collection of this glass in which to drink her Dorflingers.

The Dorflinger




  1. Pour ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice
  2. Stir well
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
  4. Add an extra dash of orange bitters if desired

This delightful, brilliant green cocktail will certainly lift your spirits and spookify your Friday the 13th. Just be careful not to bump your head on the ceiling while you float around jiving to Calypso.

-Rena Hartman, Aviation Team Member

Who was Johnny Appleseed?

johnny appleseed 2

If you grew up in the United States, you probably remember the stories from when you were a kid: Johnny Appleseed’s only loves were God and his apple trees, and as he was too puny to be a settler on the Western Frontier, he became a barefoot hobo, wearing a tin pot as a hat, who was friends with the birds, and who maniacally scattered apple seeds everywhere he went, because apples are healthy and they keep the doctor away. Because he was a “modern day” Siddhartha, people would let him crash on their floors out of the goodness of their hearts. Also, there is a song. You might know it. It’s very sweet and I grew up singing it with my family before dinner. It begins, “Oh, the Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need: the sun and the rain and the apple seed…”

Well, although that’s a great story, it has very little basis in fact. Actually, it’s quite insulting to our hero, Johnny, who was such a great businessman that he took advantage of as much “free” land as the venture capitalists were doling out in the Northwest Territories. As required, he planted fifty trees, per property, all by himself, which is pretty grueling work. He planned it so that he arrived just ahead of the oncoming settlers, in order that he could sell the land (with trees!) to them at a profit. Every couple of years he would check in on each tree nursery while he continued circling the territories, looking for more land on which to plant trees. Because his religion didn’t believe in harming any living being, John was forbidden from grafting, which is the practice of combining different strains of plants to get the most delicious outcome. Planted from only seeds, the apple trees that resulted were not meant to produce fruit for eating, but were only good for making cider…

CIDER! The great American legacy! At least it would have been, except that during Prohibition the FBI cut down every sour apple tree that they could find, effectively erasing cider from our Nation’s memory. For the majority of American history, cider had been the drink of the masses, over wine, coffee, and even water, which was deemed unsafe due to bacteria. In blanketing the “west” in his apple trees, John Chapman was actually paving the way for pioneers to be able to imbibe while furthering expansion. And, as for being the modern day Siddhartha, it is most likely true that he wandered barefoot and without even the basic necessities, as suggested by his religious beliefs. He relied on strangers to give him temporary shelter, but as Michael Pollan said in an interview about his book, The Botany of Desire, “Really, what Johnny Appleseed was doing and the reason he was welcome in every cabin in Ohio and Indiana was he was bringing the gift of alcohol to the frontier. He was our American Dionysus.”

March is apple tree-planting season in many parts of the US, so feel free to plant a tree in honor of Mr. Appleseed. Since it will take at least ten years for your tree to grow fruit, however, why not top off the day with a yummy apple cider cocktail from your local neighborhood bar? In the spirit of generosity, I recommend treating a stranger to a cocktail as well. I’ve mixed apple cider vinegar and Aviation American Gin together in the past and was very pleased (recipe here). This go around I made a simple and delicious Aviation and Dry Cider! It is exactly as it sounds:

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Aviation and Cider

Happy Johnny Appleseed Day!

-Emilyn Nelson, Aviation Team Member

You Stay Classy, St. Patty’s Day

St Pats Clover Garnish Blog

Not everyone is going to want green beer and whiskey on St. Patty’s Day. And just your luck, we found the perfect alternative that still keeps you in the spirit of the holiday. Just go to your local craft store, or order online, a clover hole punch and garnish your cocktail with a clover made of basil or mint.

I chose to make a Basil Gimlet (for a traditional Gimlet recipe go here), which is great because it naturally has a hint of green to it, but you could use this garnish on any of your favorite cocktails!

Basil Gimlet



  1. In a pint glass, muddle the basil leaves
  2. Add spirits & mixers
  3. Fill with ice & shake vigorously
  4. Fine strain into a cocktail glass
  5. Garnish with basil clover leaf

Happy St. Pat’s!

-Richelle Thorpe, Aviation Team Member

Aviation & Fennel Sour

Fennel and Orange Cocktail 3

Planting season for a lot of the West coast is in full effect. As my roommates and I dug some garden beds and planted a variety of things I started imagining all the wonderful ways we would incorporate them into our food and drink this spring and summer. One of my favorite plants to grow and consume is fennel. The bulb and roots are sweet with a gentle anise flavor and are delicious raw or roasted. The fronds make for nice garnishes and help bring out the natural licorice sweetness of the bulb.

With fennel on my mind and growing season taking off, I decided I needed to make an herbaceous cocktail to satisfy my palate. Since the bulb, stem, leaves and seeds are all edible and amazing in their own ways, there are a ton of ways to experiment with fennel. A few months ago I experimented with fennel simple syrup and made a gimlet variation with Aviation American Gin, which you are welcome to revisit here. This time instead of using the seeds to make a simple syrup, I decided to use a fresh fennel bulb. I found this cocktail recipe online and felt like the citrus and gentle sweetness of the fennel bulb would work perfectly with Aviation. When all was said and done, this cocktail easily became a new favorite.

Aviation & Fennel Sour

Fennel and Orange Cocktail


  • 2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 1 oz Dry vermouth
  • 3 Orange slices
  • 1/4 c. Roughly chopped fennel bulb
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 oz simple syrup


  1. In a pint glass, add spirits & mixers through fennel bulb & muddle
  2. Add lemon juice and simple syrup
  3. Fill with ice & shake vigorously
  4. Fine strain into a cocktail glass
  5. Garnish with an orange slice & fennel frond

-Christina Shapalis, Aviation Team Member

A Brief History of the Rickey

Rickey on bar

“Back in the Gilded Age, Shoomaker’s, on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., was, as the 1893 Baedeker’s Handbook to the United States noted, “a drinking-bar frequented by politicians, journalists, etc.” Among the et cetera propping up the bar at the “third Room of the Congress,” as it was known, was one Colonel Joe (or Jim; nobody seems to be quite sure) Rickey. The colonel, described as “a gentleman of grace and charm who wore a black slouch hat above a drooping grey mustache,” was neither a politician, nor a journalist, nor, we strongly suspect, a colonel.

He was a lobbyist. As such, he possessed a most useful trait — he was known to be a perfect master of the ancient arts and modern sciences of drinking. If he said a drink was good, it was good. If he said it was lousy, you had the next round elsewhere.

Anyway, one day in the 1890s, a bartender at Shoomaker’s handed the colonel a little something he was working on — perhaps the one drink known to mixology that can cut through the Precambrian swamp that is the capital in summer. We don’t know the bartender’s name. The colonel went into the lime-importing business.”

Dave Wondrich, NYC


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