Gin Rummy & Gin Martinis - Aviation American Gin

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Gin Rummy & Gin Martinis

Family Blog Rena

The Hartman family does not mess around when it comes to crafting cocktails. It’s a well known fact. At the very least it was drilled into my mind from a young age. I would ask my father prior to dinner, as we all sat down to play cards, why he took such care in stirring up his gin Martini. He would reply, after a meaningful pause, “Some day you will understand that a well made cocktail is exacting relief and the bringer of joy after a long day.” This mentality never struck me as old fashioned as it pertained to my father. My father is a gentleman, a storyteller, a warrior, and an innovator. Anything that he has ever endeavored in with passion he has taken great care to exact and finish. From running a small business for 35 years to training dogs, he covers his bases with a smirk on his face.

My mother, the history-buff, hostess, and intellectual adventurer, spent her time schooling my sister and I from a very different perspective. Where my father focused so hard on the precise details of classic cocktails, my mother would regale us of tales of the history of Europe and her times there. My first recollection of her speaking about drinks was her impassioned new love of British Bitter Ales, after a return from a stay in London. Next it was Germany, and the storied medicinal history of Ünderberg and Bärenjäger. After a trip to France she told me all about Absente, and debunked so many of the myths that are associated with the delicious spirit. Most recently she has outdone herself in creating the most wonderful Bloody Mary bar–a truly Midwestern invention. She infuses vodkas, selects multiple Bloody Mary mixes, cubes cheese, sets out beef sticks, and un-caps all the pickled veggies in the refrigerator–something to the tune of 12 jars at most times.

Their travels, and those I was lucky enough to enjoy by their sides, instilled in me a wealth of knowledge regarding the use and history of alcoholic beverages in countries around the world. It eventually set me up to be adventurous and explorative in my own cocktailing.

However, as a family-unit, we all subscribe to a list of fundamental cocktails that cannot be shaken, stirred, or crafted out of us. Below is the unanimous, infamous, and quintessential top five cocktails as voted on by all four of us Minnesota-born Hartmans.

Family Blog Rena 2
The Hartman Top Five: 
5) Bourbon and Sprite
4) Lychee Martini
3) Scotch and Water
2) Manhattan
1) Dry Gin Martini

The Perfect Aviation Gin Martini Recipe



  1. In a pint glass add spirits & mixers
  2. Fill with ice & stir
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist or olive

For your entertainment, the rules of Gin Rummy:

I should note that my parents are alive and well, and this December 15 they will celebrate 41 years of marriage. I am an anomaly in this day and age, a very lucky anomaly. And, this blog post is heavy in nostalgia for good reason. I should also note that the only thing we are more stubborn about than good cocktails is our Gin Rummy card games. Competitive and full of laughter is the Hartman family way.
Rena Hartman, Manager & Sales Lead

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