The Aviation cocktail goes back to the 1930s or earlier, but has been popular in all the best bars for the last year or so. At least, that's what the bar reviews and cocktail columns say. I never go trendy bars - all I know about them I learned from Cocktail and Coyote Ugly. And I haven't actually watched either of those movies.
I just bought a bottle of maraschino liqueur. It is a clear, sweet liqueur made from the fruit and pits of the Dalmatian Marasca cherry. Maraschino cherries used to be made by soaking cherries in this spirit, but now are just artificially flavored. The liqueur tastes of cherry, of course, but also has woody, peppery, nutty and spicy notes.
It was pretty much unavailable up until a few years ago, and I always wanted to try it. When I stated looking for recipes, I came upon the cult of the Aviation. My 1940's bar guide gives a pretty standard recipe:
2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur
Shake over ice and serve up in a cocktail glass
Another liqueur that was impossible to find that is making a comeback is creme de violette AKA parfait d'amour. Some recipes for the Aviation include a dash of creme de violette to give the cocktail a sky color. I have a bad history with this liqueur, but I fully intend to buy a bottle, and then I'll give you the whole story.