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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


Cooking with Anise Seed

Anise Seed Cookies
One of my favorite flavors in Aviation American Gin is anise seed. It’s savory and sweet and makes Delicious biscotti (and great gin too!). Last weekend I made myself a Negroni to get into the Italian mood and set out to make some anise seed biscotti based on this recipe.

Anise Biscotti


1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
2 teaspoons Anise extract
2.5 cups Flour
1.5 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1.5 cups Sliced almonds
2 tablespoons Anise seed
16 ounces Chocolate
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchement paper and set aside. In a bowl, combine butter and sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and combine. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and combine. Stir in the almonds and anise seed. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Shape into 12 x 2 logs. Place on baking sheet, side by side. Bake until edges are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Once done, cool on wire racks until loafs are cool enough to touch. Cut with a serrated knife into 3/4 inch slices. Place cookies back on baking sheet and return to oven. Bake for 6 minutes or until golden brown. Flip cookies over and bake for another 6 minutes. Cool cookies and then dip in melted chocolate. Allow chocolate to cool and harden. 

Cooking with Aviation American Gin Botanicals

Need some inspiration?
If you are like me, I struggle with making new and inventive meals regularly.  I tend to make the same food week after week which can be pretty boring!

This weekend, I was stuck in a rut with my “usuals.” So I started scouring the internet for inspiration.  Suddenly it dawned on me, I am surrounded by creativity at work all the time.  Our tremendously talented bartending partners, Brooke Arthur and Ryan Magarian create delicious recipes everyday using Aviation American Gin. 

So I decided to use one of the ingredient found in Aviation – lavender.  Here are the two recipes I made – main course and dessert.  Bon appetit!


Lavender Lemon Cookies



Lavender Honey Chicken

– Amy Yukas, Marketing Director

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