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How to Make a Heart Cocktail Garnish

Heart Garnish 2

Google “Valentine’s Day cocktails” and you’ll see an avalanche of pink and red, complete with rose petal and candy garnishes. Nothing wrong with that — we like fun too! That said, sometimes a classic cocktail like a Martinez or Bee’s Knees (both pictured here) is all you need to round out the perfect evening with your favorite person.

Heart Cocktail Garnish

Of course, the first thing Very Serious Cocktail People might point out is that a citrus peel garnish is so much more than looks. Proper garnish technique expels a fragrant cloud of essential citrus oils from the zest, adding a final touch of flavor and aroma that rounds out drinks and tickles the senses. Since we’re getting a little fussy with these drinks anyway, there’s no reason not to expel oils over the drink as usual, then, instead of dropping the twist into the drink, topping it off with a relentlessly Valentine’s-appropriate garnish instead. The best of both worlds never looked so good.

Heart Cocktail Garnish

To Make a Heart-Shaped Cocktail Garnish:

  1. Use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to peel a large strip of orange, lemon, or grapefruit peel.
  2. Trim the edges with a small sharp knife to make a long rectangle.
  3. Starting 1/2 an inch away from the edge, cut a long slit down the middle, all the way through the other edge.
  4. Shape into a heart — the intact end should be the point of the heart, and the loose ends should come together in the middle. You may need to trim the loose ends to get the shape and size you want.
  5. Use a cocktail pick to pierce through the sides and middle of your garnish, about 2/3 of the way down.
  6. Stir or shake up your beverage, expel oils with a standard twist if you’d like, and garnish away!

-Danguole Lekaviciute, Aviation Team Member

 

Heart Cocktail Garnish

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

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

Spooky Ookie Garnishes

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Halloween is just around the corner. Craft stores are dangerously rife with spiders, crows, bats, and cats. The spookiness is abounding. So, why not prepare some adorable cocktails with dark and mysterious garnishes?

Here are three easy cocktails, complete with super creepy Halloween garnishes.

The Aviation American Gin Zombie Punch

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Ingredients

Add gin and punch mix in a shaker full of ice. Strain mix into a glass and top with soda water. Add zombie hand King Cube.* Finish with a pinch of habañero salt.

*Zombie Hand King Cube: Purchase small skeleton hands from craft store. Fill King Cube Tray (by Tovolo) and rest skeleton in water. Freeze overnight.

Cinnamon Ginger Flying Mule

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Ingredients

Shake gin and syrup in a shaker with ice and strain into copper mug full of ice. (Hand engraved copper mug by This is Folklore, Portland.) Top with ginger beer. Stir gently. Garnish with slice of apple and ginger.

Aviation American Gin Ghost Chili Cool Shooters

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Ingredients

Pour gin into frozen Cool Shooters (by Friends of Fred) ice shot glass. Add a pinch of Jacobsen’s Ghost Chili Finishing Salt to shot. Garnish with sparkly spider.
Invite your friends over to greet trick-or-treaters and imbibe the spirits of Halloween!

-Rena Hartman, Aviation Team Member

Hosting for Gameday

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The air is crisp once more and the chill of fall has crept its way back into our lives. Before long there will be pumpkins everywhere. Already, you may have noticed, there is football everywhere. It doesn’t take long for summer to fade and fall to flourish.

If you are like me, you enjoy any excuse to have a few people over and entertain. The fact that the majority of football games are played on Sunday makes it even more convenient for hosting a hangout. This past Thursday, the NFL kicked off the season with everyone’s favorite team (slight sarcasm) the New England Patriots vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. Being from Massachusetts and having been forced to watch all sports related to Boston, I have grown into a somewhat serious Patriots fan. Therefore, I was excited about the season opener.

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Opposing team colored plates with French 75 garnishes

I decided to make it more fun for my less enthused roommates and friends and provide Red Snappers and French 75s for all. A red snapper is simply a bloody mary with gin, in my case, Aviation American Gin.

Each French 75 I made to order and garnished with berries. The Red Snapper I made in a dispensing mason jar and left out pickled green beans and black olives for garnishing and snacking. To make a batch of Red Snapper I mixed, one bottle of Aviation American Gin, 46 oz of pure tomato juice, the juice of three lemons, some pickle juice, and Tabasco, Worcestershire, celery salt and black pepper to taste.

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Overall the drink choices offered great variety and they would be even better enjoyed early on Sunday, as both cocktails are the epitome of a brunch cocktail.

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Hope you are ready for some football! And some tasty cocktails too!

-Christina Shapalis, Aviation Team Member

Gin Gin Chicken

Chicken Wings

This Labor Day I stepping up my game and bringing chicken wings to the family potluck. Given my job, I’m often tasked with bringing a pitcher of cocktails to share and while that’s easy and fun to bring, I’ve recently stumbled across a chicken wing recipe that my boyfriend can’t eat enough of. The wings are sweet but mainly the flavor is subtlety complex in a really delicious way. This recipe has now, easily become my go to party food.

Gin Marinated Chicken Wings

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds Chicken wings
  • 1 Lemon juiced and zested
  • 1/4 cup Aviation American Gin
  • 1 cup evaporated Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • freshly ground Pepper

Preparation

  1. Place chicken wings in a large Ziploc bag
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients and whisk together.
  3. Pour marinade into the bag with chicken, let chicken sit for at least 1 hour
  4. Line a backing sheet with foil and pour chicken and all the marinade on the baking sheet (arrange chicken so that it’s one layer)
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minute, then eat

-Kelly Sanders, Aviation Team Member

Inspired by the Garden

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Around this time of year my garden is in full bloom. Tomatoes, basil, peppers, arugula, kale, and so forth are all growing faster than they can be consumed, and to waste such delicious, homegrown morsels would be a crime. Therefore I find there is often one logical solution; invite a friend or two over and have a picnic!

Freshly sliced  tomatoes, figs, and melon combine with salty prosciutto and creamy mozzarella is indeed a full meal. Simply slice everything up and serve with sea salt and vinaigrette. It is simple and clean, and allows you to taste the pure deliciousness of your own grown creations. Pair this with an equally garden fresh cocktail, and you have a night to remember.

Since my arugula is really thriving, I decided it would be a fun experiment to infuse Aviation American Gin with the peppery, earthy green. Turns out, it is quite tasty. I played up the peppery aspect of the arugula by creating a black pepper simple syrup to go with it. I balanced out the spice with sweet cantaloupe and lime juices, and voila a garden fresh cocktail was born.

The Peppered Aviation

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Ingredients

  • 2 oz Arugula Infused Aviation American Gin*
  • 3/4 oz freshly pureed Cantaloupe juice
  • 1/2 oz freshly pressed Lime juice
  • 3/4 oz Black Pepper simple syrup*

Preparation

  1. Combine spirits and mixers in a pint glass
  2. Fill with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds
  3. Double strain into a glass with or without ice
  4. Garnish with prosciutto and basil
  5. *To make Arugula infused gin; add 1 cup of fresh arugula to 3 cups Aviation, allow to sit for at least one night, taste as it infuses to get desired amount of peppery flavor, fine strain when ready
  6. *To make black pepper simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns in a saucepan, heat until sugar dissolves, allow to cool, fine strain out peppercorns

This cocktail is also good topped with soda water over ice. Hope you have fun being creative with the fruits of your garden!

-Rena Hartman + Christina Shapalis, Aviation Team Members

Grilled Garnishes

I have always enjoyed grilling unconventional things and being surprised at the result. These days, in culinary and cocktail worlds alike, there seem to be few things left in the unconventional category, but it is still fun to pretend. Seeing as it’s almost August, and summer is fleeting faster than we thought possible, I decided to have a few people over, fire up the grill, and experiment with different grilled fruits as garnishes. Based on what I had already at home and what looked good at the store, the fruits we grilled were: pineapple, peach, strawberry, apricot, plum, lemon and fennel (how did a vegetable sneak in there).

Grilled Garnishes 3

I threw the fruit directly on the grill to get nice sear marks and a smoky flavor, though there are many easier ways to do this. I say easier because I lost a few pieces of fruit to the ashy coals below. But enough survived to garnish cocktails with!

Grilled Garnishes 4

I thought a Southside would be the perfect compliment to the various grilled fruits. To switch it up, I used our classic recipe but added some muddled grilled fennel to the mix. When it came to functionality of the grilled garnishes; peaches, lemons, strawberries and pineapples were the best at holding their structure. Apricots and plums were a little too mushy to use as a garnish, but their flavor was incredible post-grill. The plum especially got a wonderful sour flavor that was truly incredible. I plan to grill up a bunch of plums and do a blended cocktail in the future. The favorite garnishes were the grilled lemon and the strawberry. I also garnished with a fresh fennel frond to accent the grilled fennel in the cocktail.

Grilled Garnishes

Overall, a fun and delicious experiment. Grilled garnishes are definitely something I’ll need to investigate further as we head into the month of August.

Happy Grilling!

Grilled Garnishes 2

-Christina Shapalis, Aviation Team Member

Gin & Tonic Sangria

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One of the most classic cocktails for summertime has to be the Gin and Tonic. Slightly sweet and bitter with often some citrus; it is a winning combination. I love the classic variation of the cocktail, but I stumbled upon this recipe for Gin & Tonic Sangria and I knew immediately that I had to try it. I find white wine, such as Pinot Grigio, sangria more refreshing and lighter and therefore, more desirable during these warm summer months. If you love gin and tonics and sangria….trying this at home is a no-brainer! Besides, pitcher cocktails make hosting a breeze.

Aviation & Tonic Sangria

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Ingredients

  • 3 oz Aviation American Gin
  • 2-3 oz Freshly pressed lime juice
  • 1 bottle Pinot Grigio
  • 1/2 Cucumber, sliced
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Cane sugar
  • 1 bottle Fever Tree Tonic
  • Fresh Rosemary

Preparation

  1. In a large pitcher, combine Aviation, wine, and sugar; stir til dissolves
  2. Add lime juice, sliced lime and cucumber, and the rosemary
  3. Refrigerate for an hour to let flavors meld and get chilled
  4. Top with Fever Tree Tonic before serving
  5. Serve in ice filled rocks glass
  6. Garnish with rosemary sprig and slice of lime

Enjoy!

-Christina Shapalis, Aviation Team Member

 

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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

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