June 2015 - Aviation American Gin

Monthly Archives: June 2015

Cocktails to Sorbet

Kiwi Envy on bar

It’s been hot in Portland. Really hot. So, just to cool down, I found myself turning the Kiwi Envy cocktail into a sorbet. It turns out cocktails in sorbet form are delicious. Really delicious. Almost anything recipe can be turned into some kind of frozen dessert. You just need to watch how much alcohol you put into your recipe. Too much and your recipe wont freeze.

Kiwi Envy Sorbet

Kiwi 1


  • 9 Fresh kiwis
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 1/2 oz  Aviation American Gin
  • 3/4 oz St. Germain


  1. Remove skin from the kiwi
  2. Combine all ingredients into a food processor and mix until kiwi is mostly liquefied
  3. Be careful not to over mix; you want the kiwi seeds to stay intact
  4. Pour into an ice cream maker and follow the ice cream maker instructions
  5. Pour into a freezer safe container and freeze for about an hour
  6. Scoop and serve

-Kelly Sanders, Aviation Team Member

Rosé Regin


This refreshing drink is named for Queen Elizabeth I, of The House of York. The symbol of The House of York is the white rose, so I topped this drink with a pretty white flower. I wouldn’t want to confuse Elizabeth with Queen Margaret of The House of Lancaster, ultimately beheaded for attempts at killing Elizabeth. Another two historical factors that brought me to the name: Queen Elizabeth I had endless dealings with Spain during her reign as monarch, so I employed some lovely Spanish Brut Rosado. And, Elizabeth I was well known for her strawberry blonde hair. This sweet, fizzy masterpiece is certainly saving me from madness this hot weekend.

Rosé Reign


  • 1 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 2 dashes Orange bitters
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • Cava Brut Rosado or Sparkling Rosé
  • White flower, for garnish


  1. Pour gin into glass and add sugar
  2. Stir until sugar is mixed very well with gin. Add dashes of orange bitters
  3. Top glass to nearly full with sparkling wine
  4. Pour slowly, as it will fizz over
  5. Garnish with a floating white flower
Hopefully this fine beverage fit for a queen will keep you from chopping off heads in this mad summer heat.
-Rena Hartman, Aviation Team Member

A Gin Twist on a Mojito

photo 1

The classic Mojito combination of white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint, not surprisingly, works well with Aviation American Gin subbing in for rum. To make it a little more interesting I decided to switch out sugar for Maraschino Liqueur to get that sweetness and that subtle, delicious cherry flavor into the mix. This cocktail is a must try this summer, especially with the heat waves!

Puddle Jumper

photo 2


  • 1.5 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 1 Lime quartered
  • 0.5 Maraschino Liqueur
  • 5 mint leaves


  1. No muddling!  Smack the leaves before adding them to your shaker, then add quartered lime, and spirits
  2. Shake vigorously in ice filled shaker, double strain in to an iced Collins glass
  3. Top with soda and garnish with mint sprig


-Trevor Frye, Aviation Team Member

Backyard BBQ Parties


It’s 95 degrees in Portland, Oregon, (the hometown of Aviation American Gin) and there’s no way dinner is being cooked in my kitchen. After a few phone calls, I have 6 friends heading over to my place for a backyard BBQ. My fridge already holds hamburgers, buns, condiments and the makings for a pitcher of Beers Knees. My friends have been charged with bringing over some chips and side salads. All I had to do was turn on the grill and pour together the 4 ingredient Beers Knees recipe and the party was well under way.


To make a pitcher version of the cocktail below, I multiplied everything by the number of guests coming over (don’t forget to include yourself). I tossed everything into a pitcher, cut some lemons up for garnish and put those in a bowl and set out a bucket of ice. Instantly, I had the perfect self serve BBQ bar. Remember, because there’s beer in the recipe, you’ll want to drink the pitcher right away!


Beers Knees


  • 1 1/2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 1 oz Freshly pressed lemon juice
  • 1 oz Honey syrup*
  • 3 oz Widmer Hefeweizen
  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

-Kelly Sanders, Aviation Team Member

Pretty In Pink


To celebrate Pink Day we rolled up our sleeves and came up with one doozy of a delicious cocktail! Drawing upon the awe-inspiring cocktailing quality of Aviation American Gin and everyone’s favorite radler, this cocktail seems light and delicate but has a flavor that keeps coming. Here is the breakdown:

Pretty In Pink


Combine Aviation, Stiegl and Peychauds in a tumbler with ice, stir, finish it with a squeeze of lime, and enjoy.

Simple, refreshing, and delicious.

Have a great Pink Day from all of us at House Spirits Distillery!

-Liam Glad, Aviation Team Member

Martini Day is Here!

Martini Day

Saxon + Parole

Happy Martini Day! Arguably one of the most popular cocktails ever created, the classic Martini calls for gin and vermouth, sometimes bitters, and often a lemon twist or olive for garnish. This leaves a lot of room for creativity and experimentation, which is one of the main reasons there are so many variations of the classic Martini. I prefer my Martini to be a 50/50, meaning equal parts Aviation gin and vermouth (I really enjoy Cocchi Americano, which is actually an aperitif wine). This simple cocktail is not only delicious but also easy to make at home or savor at a nice bar like New York’s Saxon + Parole or Boston’s Eastern Standard.


Martini Day 2

Eastern Standard

  • 2oz Aviation American Gin
  • 2oz Cocchi Americano

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and stir for 20-30 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

-Claire Bertin-Lang, Aviation Team Member

The Perfect Picnic Punch


Every once in a while I attend an event or gathering where I am asked to provide a cocktaily beverage for more than five people. After five people, or when the goods have to travel it’s punch that I make. For picnics punch is the perfect way to make a fun, festive beverage in the easiest manner possible. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with David Wondrich who attests that punches are both nuanced of flavor and historical in origin. But, as a stepmom, dog owner, working gal, and woman with a fairly busy social roster there is nothing easier than pouring a bunch of liquids into a bowl, garnishing, and providing cups and a ladle. Not surprisingly, the results are usually beautiful and always appreciated by guests.

A few tips:
Keep all liquids chilled until mixing.
Freeze cubes of juice so that when they melt they do not dilute the punch.
Don’t even add ice to the punch if the guests have access to ice for their glasses.
Freeze fruits like limes, oranges, and berries to add as garnishes and keep punch cool.
Mix everything at the picnic spot.

Gypsy Rose Punch


  • 1 bottle of Aviation American Gin
  • 1/2 bottle of Krogstad Festlig Aquavit
  • 2 bottles (1.5 liters) of cheap Rose
  • 2 liters of grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 liter of Limeade
  • 30 drops/10 dashes Orange Bitters
  • A handful or two of pink rose petals (for flavor and garnish)
  • Slices of lime and orange (for garnish)
  • Large punch bowl

Pour all liquids into the bowl, add orange bitters, and stir with ladle. (It’s seriously that easy!) Place half of the rose petals in bowl and stir very gently, this helps to release some of the yummy rose essential oils from the petals. Top with remaining rose petals, limes, and oranges. Serve and imbibe the endless compliments.


I am certain Ms. Gypsy Rose Lee herself would attest to the nutritive and humectant qualities of this botanical rose and citrus punch. And, the burlesque star lived out of a caravan for most of her young life, so an elegant picnic punch is something she might much enjoy.

-Rena Hartman, Aviation Team Member

Inspired Parties


I love having friends over for cocktails. I also love learning new things and I was recently inspired by an event hosted by The Whaling Club. They did a cocktails & oysters event where guests learned how to make two cocktails and shuck their own oysters.



With photos like these for inspiration, I invited a small group of 8 friends over to recreate the event. Martinis seems like the right pairing and for those that prefer something a bit lighter, a champagne inspired French 75.


I laid out cocktail supplies and recipe guides for the drinks and buckets of oysters around our patio table. My guests gathered round, made their own drinks and shucked all the oysters they could eat. It was the perfect party: loads of friends, easy prep and simple clean up!


-Kelly Sanders, Aviation Team Member

Celebrating Father’s Day

photo (17)

For a lot of people Father’s Day traditionally means one thing: Golf. If you’re like most people the mojo seems to flow a little better after some swing juice. Try this refreshing take on the classic Arnold Palmer:

John Daly’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 Adagio 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

Rumor has it John Daly recently won the Beko Classic in Turkey after 17 of these.

Happy Father’s Day!

-Jay Henningfeld, Aviation Team Member

Meet Ryan Magarian!

We spent some time getting to know Aviation American Gin’s co-founder, Ryan Magarian, and learned a lot about how he got started in the spirit business. Curious what his favorite spirit is? Read on!

Big Bar LA

1. Where did you grow up?
So, I grew up right here in the western suburbs of our little “Disneyland of Deliciousness” known as Portland, Oregon. Upon graduating from HS, I headed on down to Eugene for 4 ½ fun and formative years at the University of Oregon where my passion for booze would eventually lead me down the path I’m on today. I must say here, though, that my early passion with regards to alcohol was rather dark and oriented, sadly, around effect rather than experience. Mercifully, over the years, I had the fortune of falling under fantastic mentorship and into great gigs which deep reoriented my relationship with hooch. Today I enjoy it in moderation with great respect for their unique stories, processes, and flavor profiles, and frankly, champion it as a part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle (for certain individuals, of course.)

2. When did you first start to realize you had a passion for spirits and bartending?
That definitely happened during my first bartending gig, that as a Club Med Resort barman, which I’m sure folks who know me can totally picture! Early on, my passion, in all honesty, was more built on the fact that for the first time in my life, I had found something I was truly good at. Sad, I know. Thankfully, over the years though, that passion definitely shifted to a simple desire to creating (or attempt to create) what I like to call “life changing cocktail and spirit service” experiences…experiences that can only be conjured through a careful balance of having an authentic heart to serve, a rich and passionate understanding of story and process, and the knowledge, ability, and desire to execute precisely each and every time I stepped to the well.

3. Of all the spirits out there, what is your favorite?
Gin, of course…Seriously, I find gin to have a boatload of range and interest from the juniper-led classics to the modern takes that emphasize and bit more balance and creativity. And when it comes to both mixing and enjoying on it’s, gin is more often than not, the spirit that usually comes to my mind both personally and professionally.

4. How does Aviation American Gin represent the Northwest to you?
It represents the PNW to me for the fact that our gorgeous little part of the world is chock full of pioneers and artisans who often seek out a life here thanks to the wide creativity and perspectives it embraces. This environment, of course, had a profound impact on our ability to create a gin that at the time, was completely out of the ordinary. So much so, that I had to champion a unique designation to help us and others taking the road less traveled, find a space within the category to reside. Additionally, I believe the flavor and aroma of the gin itself, absolutely brings to mind the fresh, damp, spicy/savoryness one might expect of a gin from Portland, OR.

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