7 Must-Try Gins for an Aviation Cocktail - Gin Raiders
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7 Must-Try Gins for an Aviation Cocktail

Two Aviation cocktails, shaken and stirred, ready to be sipped. (Photo: Anders Erickson/Youtube)

If something tastes like it could be a flowery laundry detergent or grandma’s perfume, we’re all over it. This is why we adore an Aviation, a cocktail made with gin, crème de violette, maraschino liqueur and lemon juice. To honor authenticity, garnish with a Luxardo cherry. Now for this sour cocktail to truly blossom, we need gins that embrace floral and citrus notes. With that in mind, here are seven gins for an Aviation cocktail!

McQueen and the Violet Fog Gin

Violet is in the name, so you know this gin will make a killer Aviation. McQueen and the Violet Fog self-identifies as “wickedly complex,” “angelically smooth” and “like no gin on earth.” Clearly it’s a gin with a lot going on. Why not roll with the complexity and make a double-violet Aviation?

McQueen and the Violet Fog is bottled at 40% ABV and is priced at $42. Anticipate the flavors of pomelo peel, lemongrass,  jasmine flower and orris root to dazzle in this unique modern gin.

Find McQueen and the Violet Fog here.

Citadelle Jardin d’Été Gin

Citadelle Jardin d’Été’s name translates from French to “summer garden.” This charming summery spirit will go well in an Aviation with its mix of Charentais melon, orange zest, lemons and yuzu. Charentais melons — a fruit we have never seen in gin before — are a relative to the cantaloupe with a defining light musky flavor.

Citadelle Jardin d’Été, described as “delicate and fresh”, will pair beautifully with an Aviation’s ingredients. This modern gin can be found for $32 and is bottled at 41.5% ABV.

Find Citadelle Jardin d’Été here.

Bulrush Gin

Bulrush Gin, small-batch distilled in South Carolina, is “a traditional but approachable gin,” according to Broad Creek Spirits Company. While claiming to be traditional, Bulrush leans more modern with lavender and citrus jumping over muted juniper. Bottled at 44% ABV, Bulrush is “designed specifically for simple and complex cocktails alike,” as the gin’s website states. Perfect!

Find this gin here for under $35 and consider it in your next Aviation.

Engine Gin

Get a load of that bottle! Or, uh, can? Engine Gin is a London Dry Style gin from Italy that pushes the boundaries on its own classification with a botanical mix of Sicilian lemons, licorice, salvia, juniper and damask roses. Citrus fruit and florals…just what we want for an Aviation.

This eye-catching gin is canned at 42% ABV and found for about $30. Engine Gin’s website has a recipe for an Aviation to follow, so be sure to check it out. Also be sure to navigate the website for more than a recipe — it’s just as fun to look at as a sky-hued Aviation.

Find Engine Gin here.

Caorunn Gin

Caorunn Gin is “the one served with apple,” but can also be “the one served with crème de violette.” This Scottish Craft Gin’s distinctive botanicals are rowan berry, bog myrtle, dandelion leaf, orange peel and lemon peel. Life’s too short to not find out what bog myrtle tastes like in a gin cocktail.

Bottled at 41.8% and found for $41, this citrusy gin will make an ideal Aviation.

Find Caorunn here.

Bloom Gin

Bloom Gin is an approachable London Dry Gin. Delicate florals are highlighted while still allowing juniper to shine. Chamomile, honeysuckle and pomelo are balanced in this “light and floral gin with a touch of sweetness,” as detailed on the spirit’s website.

We want G&J Distillery to release a perfume version of Bloom Gin so we can all smell like a tea garden. For now, we’ll settle with this drinkable bouquet in our next cocktails. Find Bloom Gin for about $32, bottled at 40% ABV.

Find Bloom Gin here.

Chemist South Slope American Gin

Another Aviation-friendly gin made in the Carolinas? There must be something special in the mountain water. Or, it’s the “fragrant mountain botanicals” Chemist Spirits describes on the brand’s website.

Chemist South Slope American Gin is for fans of rose, as it plays a big part in the spirit’s flavor profile. What better gin to use in an Aviation than one that already wants you to sip flowers? Chemist South Slope American Gin is bottled at 45% ABV and can be bought for under $35.

Find Chemist South Slope American Gin here.

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Candie Getgen is the managing editor for Gin Raiders. Before immersing herself in the world of spirits journalism, Candie has been many things: a bartender, a literary journal editor, an English teacher — and even a poet. Now, Candie shares her passion for gin with the world and hopes to help others fall in love with it, too (if they haven't already!). When not writing, Candie enjoys sipping a Negroni while drawing or relaxing by the pool with a campy mystery novel.