American Aviation Gin was released in 2006 as a collaborative product between Seattle bartender Ryan Magarian and House Spirits Distillery based in Portland, Oregon. Using a neutral grain spirit, seven different botanicals – juniper, elettaria cardamom, lavender, sarsaparilla, coriander, anise seed and dried sweet orange peel – are steeped and boiled with the spirit in a steel vat before being distilled again and bottled at 42% ABV. Note: As of February 2018, actor Ryan Reynolds is the proud owner of the gin brand.
The aroma hits you with a dose of sarsaparilla first before the orange peel which emphasizes the lavender note follows. Slightly sweet as you taste, the juniper’s pine comes out but isn’t the star of the show. The finish is bittersweet with a cinnamony/minty fresh taste. Traditionalists may turn their noses up, but that just means more for us. Of course, an Aviation cocktail seems fitting, but feel free to use in other sours like a Pegu Club or a Bee’s Knees cocktail.