November 2015 - Aviation American Gin

Monthly Archives: November 2015

Juniper Shortbread with Aviation Gin Icing

Juniper Shortbread 1

Unlike fruit cake, holiday cookies are a tradition without much room for improvement. They’re easy, they’re festive, they’re fun to make, and even when they’re not the best, they’re still enjoyable. A cookie, like Adele, can do no wrong.

That said, there are some ways to take them to the next level, especially if you’re an adult who’s had your fill of red and green sanding sugar and sprinkles. We’re talking about alcohol, of course; Aviation American Gin to be specific. The icing on this juniper-flecked shortbread has a whole 3-4 tablespoons of the good stuff, and definitely tastes like Aviation: aromatic, spicy, floral, and undoubtedly boozy. I used the icing itself sparingly, but since we’re all grownups here, feel free to use as much as your gin-loving heart desires.

As for the shortbread base, adding juniper seemed like a natural move. It’s not a common flavor in desserts, but its piney, slightly citrusy character is especially well suited for the season. Think rosemary, but less herbal and more woodsy. I used 40 juniper berries (roughly a tablespoon) in the shortbread dough, crushed in a mortar and pestle. It seemed like a lot at the time, but actually ended up having a pretty subtle effect — I liked that, but would absolutely feel comfortable doubling to two tablespoons on the next go. A bit of lemon zest brightens and boosts the juniper’s citrusy notes, and the rest of the cookie story is familiar: butter (so much butter), sugar, and flour.

If being an adult in the middle of a busy, sometimes-stressful holiday season isn’t enough of an incentive to treat yourself, we’re going to have to remind you that December 4th is National Cookie Day. Have a cookie — or four. You deserve it!

Juniper Shortbread 4

For shortbread:

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons juniper berries, depending on your fondness for juniper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons Aviation American Gin

Crush the juniper berries thoroughly, using a mortar and pestle (in a pinch, you can also use a plastic bag and a rolling pin). Add the crushed juniper and lemon zest to the sugar and use your fingers to rub the juniper and lemon zest into the sugar to release the fragrant oils.

Using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and the sugar/juniper/lemon zest mixture until just combined. In a separate bowl, sift whisk together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter mixture. Use the mixer on low speed to mix the dough just until it starts to come together.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and shape it into a disk (it’ll be a little crumbly). Wrap the disk in plastic and chill in the fridge for half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and prepare two large baking sheets by lining with parchment.

Roll out the dough to an even ½-inch thickness, then cut into small 1 ½-inch circles using a cutter. Transfer to prepared cookie sheets and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before icing.

To make icing, combine powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons Aviation American Gin, until smooth. Add the additional tablespoon of Aviation if necessary to achieve the consistency you’d like. Use a piping bag or simply drizzle the icing over the cookies with a spoon.

-Danguole Lekaviciute, Aviation Team Member

 

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

It is that time again, my friends. The time to buy stuff for people we know, some of whom we love, for a holiday that we are vaguely familiar with.

I kid, I kid!

It’s the holiday season and many of you are no doubt looking for grown-up stocking stuffers/tools for facilitating debauchery. And we have those in spades at our House Spirits PDX (Portland International Airport) location.

For that traveler in your family, grab a couple of The Carryon Cocktail Kits.

Stocking Stuffer Blog 1

In my most humble opinion, Gin and Tonics suit the holidays better than summer. They are the perfect complement for holiday dinners. Potato latkes, turkey, stuffing, and green bean casserole pack a heavy punch. Gin and tonic, on the other hand, is light on the tongue and the botanicals in Aviation Gin are a pretty fierce digestive opener (very important for the most dignified holiday tradition of stuffing one’s face). But to have a great Gin and Tonic, you need more than gin. Behold The Carryon Cocktail Kit Gin and Tonic. It’s a travel-sized cocktail that includes a mini jigger, cloth napkin, mini spoon, a recipe card, and a bottle of tonic. All you need to add is some Aviation Gin to complete it.

If you want to add a little flare to your G & T, check out the Gin and Titonic ice cubes. Yes, you heard that right: a little tongue-in-cheek reference to the story of the Titanic, which I will assume you all know.

Stocking Stuffer Blog 2

If you’re a bit unsure about my over-confident assertion that Gin and Tonics are the cocktail for the holiday season, try a Mile High Mule Carryon Cocktail Kit. To really put a cherry on someone’s holiday sundae, get them a proper Mule Mug for their cocktail. We are carrying a beautiful line of handmade copper mugs from This Is Folklore Company, a local artist here in Portland, Oregon. My favorite is the all-seeing eye, but there are many other magnificent designs to choose from.

Stocking Stuffer Blog 3

Stocking Stuffer Blog 4

Be sure to stop by our PDX kiosk and pick up some gifts for your more adult friends and family! See you soon.

-Carlene Ostedgaard, Aviation Team Member

Saturn Punch

Saturn #2

Here come the holidays! The intensity of it all is staggering, isn’t it? Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve barely had time to take down and pack away the plastic pumpkins, bats and skeletons. I haven’t even thought to sit quietly and pen my Thanksgiving dinner shopping list, let alone figure out the logistics of my annual Christmas party. I have to keep reminding myself that it isn’t worth getting upset over. Most of us test the limits of our sanity, we know it’s coming. In full force. Getting caught in the vortex of holiday madness; it’s all part of the fun, when you stop and think about it. DON’T STOP AND THINK ABOUT IT. Until February.

 
Once you’ve carefully crafted your shopping/gifting/baking/decorating/caroling strategies – and exhale – all that’s left to do is celebrate! This part of the planning process is always the most fun for me. Fervently pacing the aisles of my local grocery store; on the lookout for unique, affordable, mouthwatering munchies. Delectable hors d’ Oeuvre combinations which surrender my guest’s palates to limitless zesty, aromatic and savory sensations. And this includes cocktails. The artisan crafted-cocktail and beer movement has become so advanced, if I even made an attempt to try and conceive a craft-cocktail bar, it would stretch across the living room. That said, making every guest happy around the bar can break the bank. So, while my holiday party, food-wise becomes much more memorable when it embodies a timeless cornucopia of unquestionably delicious delights; getting the drinks proportional to each person’s preference can be challenging. Until now.

 
There will be wine of course, and some seasonal beer choice. But, leave the Eggnog where it belongs, in the dairy case. Hide the Schnapps. There is a simpler way to get your guests to imbibe and be spirit-compliant: serve punch. Not your grandmother’s punch either; with the floating orange sherbet iceberg. This year, wow every guest with a punch that blends together flavors which are at once silky and creamy, yet evoke all of the amazing perennial flavors which grace our senses during this magical time of the season. Create the masterpiece which is Saturn Punch! The brilliance of this cocktail is its presentation functionality. It can be made as a traditional self-serve punchbowl potion, or shaken individually and served as a frothy cocktail.

Saturn Punch

Fireside Saturn Punch 1

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice (I use Simply Orange brand)
  • Crushed Ice (for shaking individually and to fill cocktail glasses)
  • Scrappys brand Orange Bitters
  • BG Reynolds Syrups
    • 2 tsp. Passionfruit
    • 1 tsp. Oregat (Almond and cane sugar)
    • 2 tsp. Falernum (ginger, clove, almond, fresh lime)

Preparation

  1. Shake until frothy with crushed ice
  2. Pour into a highball glass
  3. Top with 3 drops Scrappy’s Orange Bitters
  4. Garnish with fresh orange or pear slices

Mixing instructions for punch (quantities contingent upon guest count):

  • 1 750ml bottle Aviation American Gin
  • 1 1.75L bottle Simply Orange Juice
  • 1 bottle BG Reynolds Passionfruit syrup
  • 1 bottle BG Reynolds Falernum syrup
  • ½ bottle BG Reynolds Oregat syrup
  • 1 bottle Scrappy’s Orange Bitters near the punch bowl for guests to discover
  • Additional serving suggestions:
    • A small framed sign next to the bitters will enhance your guests’ experience
    • Add your favorite sparkling Cava or Prosecco and take Saturn Punch to a whole new level!

Cheers!

-Kelly Gajer + Brandon Waddell + Courtney Lindstrom, Aviation Team Members

Cooking with Juniper

Pork
When people think of juniper, they often think of pine trees. Often overlooked in the kitchen, juniper, when used well, can be a really lovely flavor in food. I love the structure that juniper offers Aviation American Gin and thought it could have similar properties on my dinner plate.
I found this recipe from a 2013 Bon Appetit and while I changed it a lot, I bet this version is delicious too.
My much altered recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 head of garlic cut in half, plus two unpeeled cloves
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 pork chops, bone in
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Add salt, sugar, juniper, peppercorns, garlic half, and 2 sprigs of thyme. Stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
  2. Pour mixture into a bowl large enough to hold your pork and the mixture. Add 5 cups of ice cubes. Stir until ice cubes have melted and brine has cooled. Add the pork. Cover and chill for about 12 hours.
  3. When ready to cook, remove pork from brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Heat oil in skillet (I used a cast-iron pan). Cook chops until they reach 135 degrees, turning every few minutes so as not to over brown.
  5. Remove pan from heat and add in butter, unpeeled garlic and remaining thyme sprigs. Stir until butter has melted (add back to heat if needed). Turn chops over in pan to coat both sides with the glaze.
  6. Allow pork to rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

-Kelly Sanders, Aviation Team Member

The Up & Up

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Tucked away beneath busy MacDougal Street in New York’s Greenwich Village is The Up & Up, a cozy cocktail den that offers a respite from the outside world. The cocktail menu features many impressive and creative concoctions, including the Window Seat, one of the best drinks I have had in a while.

Window Seat

By: Jordan Schwartz, The Up & Up

  • 1.5 oz Aviation American Gin
  • .5 oz Dimmi
  • .75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • .75 oz honey syrup (2:1 honey:water)
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Absinthe rinse

    Rinse chilled cocktail glass with absinthe and discard excess liquid. Shake all ingredients together and strain into the glass.

Cheers!

-Claire Bertin-Lang, Aviation Team Member

Aviation Gin-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Gin Glazed Sweet Potatoes 1 text

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet indeed — and a sweet potato, though slightly (and only slightly) less romantic than a rose, tastes just as delicious when it is mislabeled as a yam.

The sweet potato/yam distinction has been a mystery to me for a while — and if you’re in the same boat, I let Google hurt my brain a little, so you don’t have to. The quick and dirty rundown goes like this: yams grow in Africa and, to a lesser extent, Asia, and most Americans have likely never eaten a yam. What we have in the States are sweet potatoes of two varieties: firm, with pale flesh, and soft, with orange flesh. Because of a need to distinguish the two, at some point, grocery stores started labeling the soft orange ones as yams. Tricky, but now that we know the real story, let’s grab a bottle of Aviation American Gin from the liquor cabinet for inspiration, and get cooking.

Cardamom, coriander, and dried orange peel are three of the seven botanicals in Aviation, and served as culinary muses here. I coated chunks of sweet potato (the soft, orange variety) in spices, orange zest, salt, and olive oil before roasting them, then finished with a glaze of honey, lemon juice, and a hefty splash of Aviation. A sprinkle of parsley for freshness, and some toasted hazelnuts for a delicious nod to our Oregon home, and we’re done here.

If you stick to the classic pureed sweet potatoes covered in a blanket of toasted marshmallow at Thanksgiving, do your thing come November 26th, but I highly suggest you bookmark these for another time. Roasting is hands-down my favorite way to cook vegetables — crispy edges and browned bits will turn just about anything into a truly special dish full of flavor, texture, and dare I say, good looks?

Happy holiday season to you and yours!

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Aviation Gin-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 lbs orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (about 3 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Zest of one orange (lemon will work too)
  • Salt

To glaze and finish:

  • 3 tablespoons Aviation American Gin
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh chopped parsley and/or toasted hazelnuts

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel sweet potatoes and cut them into roughly 1-inch chunks. Spread them over a large baking sheet or casserole dish and combine with olive oil, coriander, cardamom, orange or lemon zest, and a couple pinches of salt. Toss to coat well and roast for 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together Aviation American Gin, honey, and lemon juice, and set aside.

Remove baking sheet or dish from oven and pour glaze over the sweet potatoes, tossing gently to coat. Roast for 15-20 minutes more, and gently turn them over with a spatula halfway through. Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh parsley and/or hazelnuts.

-Danguole Lekaviciute, Aviation Team Member

History of The Aviation Cocktail

 

Aviation Cocktail

The name of Aviation American Gin comes from the pre-prohibition cocktail named the Aviation Cocktail. It was featured in the last cocktail book published before prohibition (by the head bartender of the Hotel Wallick, in New York). Vintage American cocktails, including the Aviation, were made using gins that don’t exist anymore. Aviation American Gin is a revival of this gin style, and it works better than London Dry gins in cocktails.

Aviation Cocktail Recipe

Hugo Ensslin’s Aviation Recipe

Hugo Ensslin wrote the last cocktail book published before Prohibition, featuring his hotel bar’s renowned Aviation Cocktail.

Hugo Recipe's For Mixed Drinks

Give the classic Aviation Cocktail a try!

-Christina Shapalis, Aviation Team Member

Making Ginger Beer

FullSizeRender (44)

My latest weekend project was making homemade ginger beer using Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s recipe, which you can find here. Aside from waiting for Amazon to deliver my champagne yeast, the project was quick and delicious. With loads of ginger beer ready to be consumed in my fridge, the next logical step was making cocktails but my Netflix account was calling my name, so I only had time for this quick cocktail. 1 minute later, I was sitting on my couch, remote in hand!

1 1/2 oz Aviation American Gin
2 oz Ginger Beer
2 oz Soda water

I like my drinks tart but a little simple syrup wouldn’t hurt if you like yours a little sweeter. To make, pour everything into a glass with ice and stir. It’s just that simple.

-Kelly Sanders, Aviation Team Member

Juniper

Juniper Berries

When gin is discussed, you can’t get too far into it without mentioning Juniper. But this tree comes in many varieties given it’s ancient origins and quite a few are poisonous. Consequently the species Juniperus communis is what we use in Aviation American Gin, and is the generally accepted juniper for all gin. It is THE defining characteristic of the spirit itself.

For centuries juniper has been used in medicine and many alchemical processes employed alcohol as solvent. So one can only assume that eventually juniper soaked in alcohol evolved into something beyond a medical necessity and other desirable ingredients were also added. Given that so many essential oils are contained in the cone (not an actual berry) that list of ingredients must have come readily.

Primarily containing sugars, but also pinene, that unmistakable pine taste, limonene for herbal citrus qualities, and myrcene which is found in hops and cannabis amongst others. Just those flavors alone suggest a huge range of plants that could accompany in this delicious tincture known as ‘Dutch courage’. And given it’s range of potential, it’s no wonder pre-prohibition America was demanding it in most cocktails.

Our method for creating Aviation American Gin takes care to assure all these flavors and aromas are translated to the final product. By steeping our botanicals in spirit prior to a second distillation the oils are extracted to a higher degree and strict cuts during the second run assure they’re used to their full potential. This, to me, is why Aviation is the premier gin for cocktails.

Aviation Cocktail

Aviation Cocktail

And the list of classic gin cocktails is almost universally adored among the cocktail dedicated: Negroni, Martinez, Gimlet, Aviation, or the Corpse Reviver #2. Another staple is for sure the most controversial – The Singapore Sling. All drink makers seem to have their own version of this beverage and over time it was bastardized into obscurity excepting it’s strange cousin seen at lounge bars and Chinese restaurants.

To fully understand the magnitude of gin’s diversity I think there’s no better potpourri.

Singapore Sling

FullSizeRender (31)

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces Aviation American Gin
  • 1½ ounces Pineapple juice
  • ½ ounce Cherry Heering
  • ½ ounce Lime juice
  • ¼ ounce Cointreau
  • ¼ ounce Bénédictine
  • ¼ ounce Grenadine
  • Dash of Angostura bitters

Shake all liquid ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled Collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a pineapple leaf.

-Miles Munroe, Aviation Team Member

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