Ad Astra

Difford's Guide
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There are approximately 161 calories in one serving of Ad Astra.

Times, Seasons & Occasions


Ad Astra image

Serve in a

Martini glass

Photographed in a

Libbey Speakeasy Martini 5.75oz


Float one drop of castor oil

How to make:

STIR all ingredients with ice and strain into chilled glass.

1 2/3 fl oz Rutte Dry Gin
1/3 fl oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
1/3 fl oz Crème de violette liqueur
1/6 fl oz Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

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Ad Astra is a Latin phrase meaning "to the stars", an apt name for this spirituous and complex riff on a classic Aviation.


Created by Ben Simpson of Smoke & Oakum Manufactory Ltd, Wellington, New Zealand and the name behind Gunpowder Rum. Ben shared his "spin on the old Aviation cocktail" with us in May 2019 saying, "Somewhere along the line I got it into my head that the Aviation was, at heart, a martini variant (I think I even found some gin/maraschino type cocktails to back my argument). For this reason, the lemon juice is vastly reduced, and the drink is stirred.

"To this idea, I added the suggestion that the washed-out purple colour of creme de violette in the finished drink references aviation fuel (or 'Av-Gas' as they used to call it when I did my basic flight training). Then I kept making stuff up as I prepared the drink: the spinning of the ice within the mixing glass is similar to the action of the rotary engine that dominated the early years of flight, with the mixing spoon being the propeller shaft. Finally, the drop of castor oil on top harks back to the use of this in rotary engines to keep the whole hot, spinning mass from seizing. Unfortunately, the result of this was a slipstream saturated in castor oil, including both the plane and the pilot (hence the image of the leather trenchcoat-wearing pilot wiping his goggles with his silk scarf).

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