|1 1/2 fl oz||Rutte Dry Gin|
|1/2 fl oz||Luxardo Maraschino liqueur|
|1/6 fl oz||Giffard Parfait Amour liqueur|
|1/3 fl oz||Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)|
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above.
A wonderfully aromatic flower-powered Aviation. Sweeter than some Aviation renditions, including my own Aviation and if, like me, you like yours a tad drier and boozier then try adding a mere 5ml (1/6oz) more gin to Takumi's recipe.
Takumi Watanabe first presented his version of the classic Aviation at the 2010 global final of World Class in Athens, Greece. Representing Japan, he was one of 24 finalists from around the world competing in a number of challenges to be crowned World Class Bartender of the Year. Erik Lorincz, then of London's Connaught Hotel, went on to win but Takumi's Aviation has since become a contemporary classic, perhaps helped by Difford's Guide publishing the following account from the Cocktail Mastery Challenge which was judged by the legendary Gary "gaz" Regan.
"The World Class Cocktail Mastery segment challenges World Class competitors to deliver not just on their drinks-making ability – but on the power of their palate.
Each was required to distinguish 20 aromas from a list of 40 commonly found in spirits, to blind taste and identify four brands from a chosen category of four spirits – distinguishing between a competitor brand, a supermarket brand, a different Diageo product and the Diageo Reserve brand – and to answer 20 multiple-choice questions on a spirit category of their choice.
They were then charged with making two cocktails, one classic (with any twist they liked to give), the other a wholly original creation.
As such, it was a test of the all-round capabilities demanded by modern mixology amid an ever-expanding market of products. Held at Balthazar, a large open-air bar in central Athens, our finalists faced seasoned drinks pro Gaz Regan across the bar – putting competitors at ease with his friendly and easy-going nature that belies an encyclopaedic knowledge about cocktails, drinking culture and professional bar service.
Sporting a Tanqueray No. TEN badge, there was no questioning what spirit Takumi's Cocktail Mastery challenge would centre on. His signature Botanical Garden was designed to showcase the gin's fresh botanicals, with the sudachi reflecting the coriander used in Tanqueray, and a typically intricate Japanese-style 'butterfly' garnish.
For his Aviation, Takumi first stirred the gin neat and with no ice, in order to better release its aromatic qualities. Paying close attention to the balance of the cocktail, he tasted the crème de violette, which he said was particularly strong, before and after adding maraschino and lemon juice. Did it work? Gaz Regan said: "That's the best Aviation I've ever tasted."
Botanical Garden (signature)
Garnish: Sudachi (Japanese lime) slice on surface; lemon zest 'butterfly' on the rim
Method: SHAKE all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled cocktail glass.
1 shot Tanqueray No.TEN Gin
2/3 shot Green tea
½ shot Sudachi (Japanese lime) juice
¼ shot Sugar syrup
Garnish: Lemon zest spritzed
Method: Dry STIR gin on its own, add other ingredients, SHAKE and fine strain into chilled cocktail glass.
1½ shot Tanqueray No.TEN Gin
½ shot Maraschino liqueur
1/6 shot Crème de violette
1/3 shot Freshly squeezed lemon juice"