September 20, 2009

Cocktail Hour: Aviation

1 oz. vodka, uninfused -- substitute gin if you prefer
3/4 oz. freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. Crème de Violette
1/2 tsp. (just a dash, really) Maraschino

Maraschino is not the famous sweet cherry used in ice cream treats. Rather, it is a low-proof liqueur distilled from Marasca cherries native to southwestern Croatia. I didn't have any maraschino liqueur, so I used a cherry syrup. Next time, if I don't have the real thing, I'll mix in one part Campari with two parts of the cherry syrup, because it was too sweet and it begs for a nibble of bitter.

Combine vodka, lemon juice, and Violette in a strainer-shaker with much ice. If you happen to have real maraschino, include that. Shake well. If using cherry syrup as a substitute, pour the syrup in the bottom of the martini glass first. Then, carefully and gently pour the strained cocktail out of the shaker into the martini glass, leaving the syrup unmixed at the base of the liquid.

Yes, at its base, it's a vodka (or gin) sour. But it doesn't need much by way of sweetening from sugar, because between the Maraschino and the Violette, enough other sweet gets added. The resulting mixture is sweet, but not cloyingly so until you get to the cherry syrup, so it retains its refreshing and stimulating feel. The lemon juice and violet combine to make a marvelous taste. But as important, the light purple color of the drink, especially in the martini glass, is about as elegant as anything you could ask for.

Also on the subject of booze and the lawyers who love it, how cool would it be to do nothing but beverage law? These guys can tell you. Photo from here.

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