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The Corpse Reviver No. 2

Corpse Reviver No. 2

The debate continues as to whether The Corpse Reviver No. 2 is the ultimate hair of the dog concoction, but there is little disagreement on the fact that the cocktail is sensational. First served at the Ritz in Paris back in the 1920s, this cocktail will awake your senses. I have always enjoyed Aviation American Gin with Lillet Blanc, but with some Cointreau, lemon, and absinthe in the mix, the combination is elevated to a whole new level.

Corpse Reviver No. 2

Harry Craddock’s book, The Savoy Cocktail Book, was published in 1930 and included a recipe for The Corpse Reviver No. 2. About the cocktail, he wrote, “To be taken before 11 a.m., or whenever steam and energy are needed.” We recommend one for any occasion; although what better day to imbibe a drink strong enough to wake the dead than Easter Sunday?

-Christina Shapalis, Aviation Team Member
Photography by Danguole Lekaviciute

Tropic Harvest Cocktail

As the seasons change, we find our culinary and cocktail choices changing.  We watch our grocery list selections transform from carefree barbecue summer fare into slow-cooker comforts.  Our cravings for those sparkly, effervescent libations on the rocks begin to wane, and in their place, the warming sensations of all things mulled and spiced show up to keep our hands warm and relax us into the folds of our overstuffed couches.  


The weather takes a different and unexpected course, beating maliciously outside the door with no sign of a single ray of sunshine.  For weeks on end.  Sometimes you need summery edible and drinkable pick-me-ups to stave off those winter blues. Don’t cry yourself a river of chamomile tea, because here’s a drink concoction that’s sure to perk you up when you’re knee-deep in your winter gloominess.  

Imagine a cocktail combining the bright sunshine flavors of grapefruit’s citrusy kiss, the sweet snap of English cucumber, peppery hints of Italian parsley and an intense, exotic, sweet-tart blend of tropical island fruits. This cocktail is sure to swipe a ribbon of sunny brightness across even the darkest of a cold, dead winter sky.  You’ll be sipping and basking in thoughts of summers past while sketching your spring garden seeding schematic, completely forgetting about the nasty weather bleating outside.  

Tropical Harvest Cocktail

Introducing the Tropic Harvest Cocktail!  The base spirit of this refreshing pick-me-up is the award-winning Aviation American Gin. Hang a hammock in the living room and tempt yourself with this heavenly concoction. Winter’s melancholy has met its match with the Tropic Harvest cocktail! You can opt to make this as an individual cocktail, or put together a make-your-own Tropic Harvest cocktail bar. Simply set up a tray with sliced cucumber, your favorite tropical fruit, snips of parsley. Add a bottle each of club soda and simple syrup, a bucket of ice, and encourage your guests to put together their own spin on this refreshing beverage. Alternatively, you can put your blender to work to create thick, frosty versions — tiny umbrellas optional, but strongly encouraged!

Tropical Harvest Cocktail


In a cocktail shaker, muddle:

  • 3 thin English cucumber slices
  • 3 snips of fresh organic Italian parsley (fresh basil is awesome too!)
  • Selection of your favorite exotic fruit.  As close to ripe as possible.  We chose 2 slices each of kiwi, mango, and starfruit.

Add to your cocktail shaker:

  • A handful of ice cubes
  • 2 ounces Aviation American Gin
  • 1 ounce simple syrup (optional – if the fruit is super ripe and sweet, you can omit this)

Cover and shake until the drink is thoroughly chilled, pour into a highball glass, fill the glass with soda water, top with 5 drops of grapefruit bitters, and stir. Garnish with starfruit and/or cucumber slice.


-Kelly Gajer, Aviation Team Member


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

In Honor Of National Vegetarian Month

Fennel GimletIn honor of National Vegetarian Month (October) I thought it would be fun to incorporate a vegetable into a cocktail.  This isn’t a novel idea, but it is something you can be very creative with.  Recently I have been turned onto various flavored simple syrups.  Instead of the simple syrup just adding sweetness to a cocktail, it can add a huge punch of flavor.  My favorite experimental syrup so far is fennel simple syrup.  Fennel has this wonderful flavor reminiscent of licorice and works perfectly with citrus. However, if fennel is not your thing, this website is a great resource for all sorts of flavored syrups, with instructions on how to make them. I decided lime would be a great citrus to mix with fennel, however orange, grapefruit or lemon would work just as well.

Fennel Gimlet

Fennel Gimlet 2



  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 star anise seed pod

*To make fennel simple syrup: Bring ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup water and 1 tablespoon fennel seeds to a simmer in a very small saucepan. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and let the fennel steep for 30 minutes. Strain out fennel seeds and allow syrup to cool before use.


-Christina Shapalis, Marketing & Retail Assistant

The Distiller Files – Making Gin

At House Spirits, the creation of Aviation American Gin’s flavor begins with our selection and treatment of our botanical and spice blend. Choosing an array of ingredients that blend harmoniously into a vibrant gin that works well in cocktails is the first step, but just as important is the way that we extract flavors from these components before we perform our daily distillation. In gin-making there are several ways to extract flavors and aromas from botanicals, but the way that best suits Aviation American Gin is via our “tea-bag” method.
To begin, each day at the distillery begins with us carefully evaluating, weighing and preparing the seven botanicals that go into every batch of Aviation American Gin. In my favorite step, to get at the heart of the juniper flavor we give all the berries a gentle whacking to bruise them slightly. After that, we place our spice blend into large mesh bags that work just like a tea-bag, allowing liquid to flow freely through them. We tie the three tea-bags securely and add them to a tank containing high-proof ethanol.
Ethanol is a terrific solvent, meaning it’s very good at extracting flavors, color, and aromas from most things that it comes in contact with, including our spice mixture. After making sure to fully hydrate our tea-bags in almost-pure ethanol, we allow them to sit overnight. The next morning we remove the bags and pump our now-flavorful green-yellow spice/alcohol tea to our trusty still to make that day’s batch of Aviation American Gin. Through the distillation process, we leave the unwanted color and flavor components of our spice tea behind in the still, collecting only the balanced and delicious flavors of Aviation American Gin. Painstaking? Yes. But worth it? Absolutely. Cheers!
– Andrew Tice, Head Distiller

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