Locals are in for a treat as Aviation Gin has finally reached our shores. Known as the first American craft gin, this batch distilled beauty is unique in many ways.

It is the first gin created specifically for being mixed with cocktails, and its soft citrus notes will take your taste buds to new heights.

In recent years, Cape Town has become enamoured with this drink – we love our local creations and when we shop for limes, lemons or grapefruits you can guarantee its not for our daily dose of vitamin C.

I consider myself a fast gin-lover and there are many gins I could recommend, but none are as soft and perfectly suited to a cocktail party as Aviation.

Unlike other gins, Aviation is not juniper forward but focuses more on its citrus notes. In Cape Town, we like our gin with a little tonic but I was surprisingly pleased by the delightful pairing of Aviation and club soda, which I’m told is far more popular in America. Since discovering this Western-style gin there isn’t a single cocktail combo I haven’t enjoyed it with so far.

It not only has refreshing citrus and floral notes, but is also unparalleled when it comes to its versatility and is somewhat of a gin of all trades.

Did we mention that it is now owned by renowned and simply smoldering actor, Ryan Reynolds? One day he took a sip of Aviation and knew he had to own it, calling it “the best gin in the world”.

When it comes to gin there are three categories in need of ticking – the taste, the bottle, and the story.

Aviation is a roller coaster of flavours featuring a perfect combination of seven botanicals that have been around for 10 years and many people pick up different tastes as they drink. Besides its tasty nature the bottle is stylish and boasts a twist lid which is not something you see often in gin packaging and then we have the story.

At a party in Seattle in 2005, bartender Ryan Magarian was introduced to “summer gin” by a friend from Portland. Struck by the subtlety of gin with less juniper, he recognised it as a movement away from traditional gin. Magarian had a growing interest in classic, pre-Prohibition cocktails, where the spirit is central and never masked, and this gin had the potential to be the perfect compliment. He set off for Portland to meet the distiller.

Without a precise flight plan, the first bartender and distiller partnership took off. Through repeated trial and experimentation with 7 botanicals, Magarian and distiller, Christian Krogstad finally landed on a democratic blend with juniper in the background. Like all successful partnerships, no ingredient is overpowering or masking, but each plays a part in bringing out the best in the other. Aviation, a gin created to be so balanced and smooth, it can complement any cocktail or even fly solo was born.

Aviation also has an interesting production process, here’s a little video that sums it up perfectly:

You can get your hands on some Aviation Gin at the below restaurants and bars:

– Orphanage

– Burger and Lobster

– The Secret Gin Bar

– Cause and Effect

– Ghibli bar

– Raddisson

If you’re looking to grab a bottle you can get one at the below bottle stores:

– Norman Goodfellows

– Ultra Liquors

– Liquor City

– Tops at Spar

– Pick N Pay

– Makro

If you’re a gin lover like me be sure to check out our 11 local gins to collect and tricks on how to mix up your gin game.


Pictures: Supplied



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