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Aviation Green Snapper

As far as holidays go, St. Patrick’s Day is an easy sell — all you have to do is show up wearing something green and have a drink, whether it’s green beer, Irish whiskey, Irish cream, Guinness, or some unfortunate combination of those last three things.

Green Snapper Cocktail

The holiday is by no means authentically Irish; it’s a distinctly American celebration of being Irish on this side of the Atlantic. Between the 17th and 20th centuries in Ireland, March 17th was commemorated with a quiet, dignified visit to church. Even corned beef and cabbage is, as you may know or have already guessed, an American idea of what Irish food is. Immigrants from the Emerald Isle substituted corned beef for the bacon used in the OG version of this dish, and the end result is closer to a New England boiled dinner than anything actually eaten in Ireland. It is the spaghetti and meatballs of Irish-America.

To me, all of the above is noteworthy and heartwarming in that it’s so distinctly American: a celebration of hyphenated culture and identity, a nod to our melting pot, a salute to our roots from all corners of the globe. Mike Cronin said it best: “In essence, St. Patrick’s Day was a public declaration of a hybrid identity—a belief in the future of Ireland as a nation free from British rule, and a strict adherence to the values and liberties that the U.S. offered them.”

So maybe it’s appropriate that in my search for something interesting and vividly green to share with you on this day, tomatillos and jalapeño made their way into the mix for this take on a classic Red Snapper. The end result is everything I was hoping for: vibrant, boozy, spicy, savory, and not reminiscent of green juices and smoothies. Now is not the time for apple and celery. That said, this is equally well-suited for starting your celebrations on the day of St. Pat’s, or recovering from them in the early afternoon of March 18th.

Sláinte!

Green Snapper Cocktail

Aviation American Gin Green Snapper
(Adapted from Heather Christo)

For mix:

  • 2 cups chopped green tomatoes or tomatillos
  • ½ cup chopped English cucumber chunks
  • ½ fresh jalapeño, chopped (remove seeds and white membrane for less spice)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

For drink:

  • 4 ounces prepared mix
  • 2 ounces Aviation American Gin
  • Cucumber, lime, olives, salt rim, etc., for garnish

To make the mix, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until very smooth. At this point, you can strain all or part of the mixture if you’d like a less chunky beverage; I strained half of it to thin it out a little bit. Build cocktail in an ice-filled glass, stir, and garnish as desired.

Yield: 2 drinks

-Danguole Lekaviciute, Aviation Team Member

The Cocktails You Need for Kick-off

My poor father. The only brother to his three wild sisters goes off to get married, and is blessed with three equally wild daughters. To help him cope with the heavy amount of estrogen in his life, my sisters and I would watch football with him on Sundays and pretend we understood why he was screaming at the television. I can’t say I am a diehard fan, but at the age of 29, I now understand and thoroughly enjoy the game. In conjunction with my job at House Spirits Distillery and the fact that my roommates and I love any excuse to host a party, I decided I needed to come up with the perfect rivalry Super Bowl cocktails to serve on game day.

Super Bowl Cocktails
Super Bowl 50 (those in charge thought Super Bowl L would be too confusing to their fan base) will take place in San Francisco on February 7th. The Denver Broncos will take on the Carolina Panthers, in what hopes to be a colorful and exciting game. Regardless of what happens on the field, my house will be full of bright, tasty and wonderfully themed cocktails. Planning a viewing party? Consider serving these delicious drinks for your guests.

Aviation Crush

The Aviation Crush, an ode to the Broncos’ defense called ‘Orange Crush’

  • 1 1/2 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 1/2 oz Aperol
  • 1 oz Freshly pressed orange juice
  • 3/4 oz Freshly pressed lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple syrup
  • Soda
  • Large orange peel, for garnish

Prepare a horse’s neck garnish (follow along with this video for garnish instructions) and place into a highball glass, then fill glass with ice. In a pint glass, add spirits & mixers, through simple syrup. Add ice and shake for 6-10 seconds. Fine-strain into the prepared highball glass and top with soda.

Black Licorice Panther

Vs.

The Black Licorice Panther

  • 1 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 1 oz Krogstad Festlig Aquavit
  • 3/4 oz Blue Curacao
  • 3/4 oz Freshly pressed lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple syrup
  • Soda
  • Cat-shaped black licorice candy, for garnish

In a pint glass, add spirits & mixers through simple syrup. Add ice and shake for 6-10 seconds. Fine strain into an ice-filled highball glass and top with soda. Garnish with a black licorice cat, such as these from World Market.

These cocktails will get even your anti-football friends into the game and to top it off, they are as tasty as they are perfectly color-coordinated. May the best team (cocktail) win!

Aviation Gin Football

-Christina Shapalis, Aviation Team Member
photography by Danguole Lekaviciute

NYFW 2015

iris3

Iris Apfel

There are two things I recall about my time living in NYC. The style and the fashion. It may sound vague, but if you’ve lived there you know. You can’t walk out of your far Brooklyn apartment without immediately seeing some incredibly boisterously dressed woman, or a man in a custom made jumpsuit. I’m not even talking about the fancy or upscale Brooklyn neighborhoods. Personal style is an overriding necessity in NYC. From the Orthodox Jew in the perfectly tailored wool coat to the radical Williamsburg hipster in her hand-selected vintage ensemble. Style and fashion in NYC is all-consuming. It isn’t until you move away that you realize how it changes you. Everywhere else you go you look “different” or “overdressed”. I revel in that skill that I was so lucky to attain in my time out east. I am proud of my ability to enjoy, wear, and be comfortable in strange and unusual items of apparel. My style of dress is my best confidence booster, and my comfort when I’m feeling unoriginal.

“You have to look in the mirror and see yourself. If it feels good, then I know it’s for me. I don’t dress to be stared at, I dress for myself.” -Iris Apfel

NYFW 2015 is in full swing. Having both attended shows and been backstage I can tell you that a sea of chaos feeds that river of beauty and art as it moves down the runway. The people that organize fashion week events pour themselves into 14 hour days, which turn into afterparty upon afterparty. It may sound like decadent fun, but I always recall my best friend Caroline’s tote bag stuffed to the gills with electronic devices, paper, and an array of immune boosting tonics. I think about how the inspired designer always expresses this unbelievable relief when the show is over. I recall footage of my heroine, Iris Apfel, carefully selecting each and every bauble that she will wear to sit front and center at Jeremy Scott or Betsy Johnson. I think of Anna Wintour and her team tirelessly selecting perfect pieces and looks at each show they attend to shoot for the coming issues of Vogue. And, I think about the models rushing around town with their rolling luggage, scrambling to get to the next show on time just so they can have makeup slathered on their faces and garments pinned tight to them.

The first NY Fashion Week occurred in 1943 under the keen impetus of Eleanor Lambert, press director of The New York Dress Institute. It was an effort to draw attention away from French fashion during WWII. It was called “Press Week”. It was a huge success, and motivated existing fashion magazines to feature more and more American designers.

I miss it. I miss the rushing, the craziness, the flashing lights, and then the beautiful stream of art. In the years that I haven’t been able to attend NYFW I created a little routine.

photo 4

Step 1) Carefully mull over the Fashion Bibles (what industry folks jovially call the massive issues that come out every September).
Step 2) Religiously peruse Instagram, mostly wishing I could own everything from the Mara Hoffman and Rag and Bone collections.
Step 3) Watch The Devil Wears Prada.
Step 4) Get really dressed up and walk around in my highest heels (so uncomfortable).
Step 5) Design a new cocktail.

Fashion Week Tonic

photo 1

Ingredients

  • 1.5 ounces Aviation American Gin
  • 1 ounce Cardamaro
  • 2 ounces Asian Pear and Ginger Kombucha

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir for about 30 seconds. Strain into a pretty glass. Enjoy while flipping through magazines.

Fashion inspires me. It moves me. It always has. My grandmother bought me a subscription to Harper’s Bazaar when I was nine. But, what inspires me most is the hard work and vision that contribute to each and every amazing NYFW. This vision turns small businesses into luxury brands. It’s a forum for the unknown designer to gain recognition and footing in a very competitive industry.

Luckily, I am wildly inspired every day. I dream of cocktails. I dream of Aviation American Gin as the flagship sponsor of some fictional fashion week. I have the joy of working for a small business that is quickly growing into a fashionable luxury brand. And, what pairs better with amazing fashion than a skillfully crafted gin cocktail?

-Rena Hartman, Aviation Team Member

NBA Playoffs

buggy_whip

The NBA playoffs are here and my household is pretty excited about it. We have a little basketball tradition to keep things interesting. Before the game starts I always provide a little punch. This year I am going with Buggy Whip Punch, to make use of my aggressively fast growing mint. Everyone can mingle, have a drink and a snack and get ready for the game. Half time is when it gets really interesting.

photo (16)

We head outside to our basketball hoop and play a game of Knock Out. If you don’t remember Knock Out, it is that game you played in middle school where you line up at the free throw line, the first two players starting with balls, and you attempt to “knock out” the player in front of you by making your basket in before they do. It is a high-paced, really fun game and it doesn’t take long, which is perfect for half time. The winner of Knock Out then gets to decide what round of cocktails will be next to be made and the loser has to make them! Usually I have a list of cocktail options, based on the ingredients I have on hand. We head back inside, catch the end of the game, and sip the loser’s cocktail creation all in good fun. I keep Aviation American Gin, limes, lemons, simple syrup, honey syrup, vermouth, Campari, soda water, various bitters and lots of ice on hand for this time of year. More options the better!

Happy Playoffs.
Christina Shapalis – Aviation Team Member

Stanley Cup

bill hartman

My father, Bill Hartman

Hockey has a special place in my life, my heritage, and my heart. Anyone who knows me at all has overheard me waxing on end about my favorite players of all time (Hobey Baker, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Dino Ciccarelli, P.K. Subban) , my favorite college team (UND, formerly known as The North Dakota “Fighting Sioux”), my favorite coach (Herb Brooks), my favorite WHL team (The Portland Winterhawks). Everyone who has ever had a two sentence conversation with me knows where I hail from–Minnesota–The State of Hockey. I speak often about walking down the street to skate or play a pickup game during long winter nights in West Saint Paul. There really isn’t a park in the Twin Cities that doesn’t create a rink each winter, and most are lit with warmed ice houses. Some of my friends may have even overheard me discussing how I will never forgive Minnesota for selling The North Stars to Dallas, or how I played in an open league in NYC with Canadian legend, star of epic films, and my personal hero Mike Meyers. Even my 65 year-old father plays in an adult league, and maintains a good scoring position as left wing (the same position I play). It’s in my blood. I love hockey. Period.

original stanley cup

The original Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup finals kickoff on June 3. This year it’s The Tampa Bay Lightning versus The Chicago Blackhawks. Tampa Bay has lined up a great group of players, and runs a fast, young offensive line. However, The Blackhawks are just such a skilled and experienced team. They are shooting for their third Stanley Cup title in six years. In addition, I feel obligated to root for The Blackhawks for three reasons: 1) Their proximity to Minnesota, 2) Their connection to Portland, and 3) The fact that they are one of The Big Six–the first six official NHL teams. Geography rarely plays a big roll in my reasoning for rooting for players or teams, but once in a while it trumps all else.

the portland rosebuds

The Portland Rosebuds

Here’s the connection: The Portland Rosebuds were the first United States-based team to participate in The Stanley Cup Finals. They were also the first US team to hold the title as Stanley Cup Champions from 1915-1916. They lost to the Montreal Canadiens–oldest, and in my mind, one of the most legendary teams in the NHL. This was the first incarnation of The Portland Rosebuds. The second incarnation was born after the Regina Capitals moved to Portland for the 1925-1926 WHL (Western Hockey League) Season. After the league folded the players of the team were sold to create the new expansion team, none other than The Chicago Blackhawks!
There is no doubt in my mind that this will be a very exciting Stanley Cup Final. In an effort to get revved-up as a fan I have lined up a fantastic hockey film double-feature: Slap Shot–the 1977 Paul Newman classic, featuring my favorite goon squad, The Hanson Brothers; and The Love Guru–the under appreciated Mike Meyers masterpiece featuring Justin Timberlake as a cocky Quebecois player for the Los Angeles Kings (2014 Stanley Cup Champions).

In addition, I have cooked-up what I think is the most appropriately titled cocktail for the occasion:

The Last Word

last word 3

Ingredients
  • 3/4 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
  • 3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
  • 3/4 oz Freshly pressed lime juice
Preparation
  1. In a pint glass, add spirits & mixers
  2. Fill with ice & shake vigorously
  3. Fine strain into a cocktail glass
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge

Cheers, to The Chicago Blackhawks getting the “last word”.

-Rena Hartman, Aviation Team Member

Here Comes the Gin

Bridal Shower

It’s nearing wedding season, which means it’s officially bridal shower season. With love in the air and a few friends ready to tie the knot, I’ll be hosting two bridal showers this season.

My friends know I work for Aviation American Gin which means drink expectations are high. I’m not a professional bartender but I have access to some of the best drink minds in the world and they have given me the keys to easy party cocktails. This wedding season, I’ll be whipping up a few batches of the Kiwi Envy for my brides and their guests.

The cocktail is easy to make ahead of time, looks beautiful and is spectacularly delicious. Seriously, it’s really very good.

Here’s what I did to make a batch for my 8 guests.

Kiwi Envy

Kiwi Envy on bar

Ingredients

  • 16 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 6 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 32 slices Kiwi
  • 4 oz Freshly pressed lime juice
  • 4 oz Simple syrup
  • Soda water

Preparation

  1. In a big bowl, muddle the kiwi
  2. Add spirits & mixers (through simple syrup)
  3. Fill with ice & stir for about a minute
  4. Fine strain into a pitcher. Place in the fridge until ready to use
  5. When ready, add ice & top with soda water
  6. Garnish with a kiwi slices

-Kelly Sanders, 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.

photo 1 (11)

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!

Cheers!

-The Aviation Team

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

Boozy Parties – Part 4: Academy Awards Theme

Oscars Blog 5

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

Oscars Blog 4

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

Oscars Blog 6

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

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

-Kelly Sanders, Aviation Team Member

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