Friday, July 9, 2010

Aviation Cocktail

So, how about that LeBron James fellow?  He sure does love attention.

This whole ordeal has been so drama-filled, and so utterly unnecessary.  It reminds me of LeBron's basketball games to date in some ways: at times riveting, but in the end, unfulfilling.

What all of this drama tells me is that LeBron is not in the mold of Jordan and Kobe.  He is sadly different.  LeBron seems to be more interested in posing after the final shot than he is in actually taking or hitting it.  Jordan and Kobe want(ed) to kill you.  Maybe not literally, but they certainly want(ed) to figuratively kill their opponents.  Their drive was founded upon a need to win. 

LeBron, it seems, either knew he did not possess that type of drive to win, or, perhaps knew he needed others to shoulder some of the burden of winning.  I feel as though his capacity for greatness is now smaller; his passing ability apparently not limited to the basketball court, but also to passing off the large responsibility of team leadership to at least 2 others. 

So now we have a "super team" - a team comprised of exactly 3 players as of right now, and only one that I actually genuinely like (D. Wade).  Quote Macbeth here with the sound and the fury and all, because by the end of the hour special, it was entirely anti-climactic.  The one thing I did learn is that LeBron is as hollow an individual in front of the media as Tiger Woods.  How incredibly sad, and boring.

And why Jim Gray, ESPN?  Jim Gray is the best guy you could come up with?  He is universally loathed, and his voice equals nails on a chalkboard turned up to 11.  I wish Pete Rose had been in attendance and just walked up and punched Gray in the face.  That would have been drama I would have enjoyed.

With LeBron flying to Miami, we fly the Aviation cocktail today!

Aviation Cocktail
Adapted from Samuel Kinsey's recipe by the NYT, available here.

2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons maraschino liqueur, preferably Luxardo
1/4 ounce Crème de Violette
Lemon twist, for garnish

Combine the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake to chill well, then strain into a cocktail glass. Drizzle the Crème de Violette into the glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

For this cocktail, I'm using New Amsterdam Gin, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, and Parfait Amour in the place of Crème de Violette.

I love this cocktail.  This is one of my go-to cocktails, when I can find a place that serves them.  In Chicago, I get it at The Bristol.  In Indianapolis, I go to the newly opened pre-prohibition era cocktail bar, Ball and Biscuit.

First, it's worth noting a couple things about the recipe.

It is incredibly difficult to find Crème de Violette.  Don't let its absence discourage you.  It is primarily meant to impart color into the cocktail.  I subbed in Parfait Amour in its place, as even the finest liquor stores in my area do not carry Crème de Violette without a specialty order.  The flavors of the two liqueurs may differ, but not so substantially so as to significantly change the Aviation's taste or your enjoyment of the drink.

The other issue worth noting is that maraschino liqueur is not nearly as sweet as you might expect.  Sure it is sweet, but not syrupy sweet.

This is such a balanced cocktail, and so enjoyable.  The first taste I get upon sipping the Aviation is a slight bitterness, followed by a wonderful mix of the lemon and cherry flavors.  Balance.  It is excellent.  I'd drink this as an aperitif, or perhaps as an after-dinner drink.  I probably would not drink it with a meal, as it has a flavor profile that should be savored on its own.

Have an excellent weekend, enjoy the Aviation, and we'll see you next week!



Tara on July 9, 2010 at 10:27 AM said...

I am heading to Ball and Biscuit tonight and was wondering what pre-prohibition era cocktail I was going to imbibe. Aviation it is, my friend.

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