If you’re creating a Hal Jordan cocktail you can’t get much more on the nose than making it an Aviation variation using Aviation American Gin. Whitechapel‘s Megan Daniel did exactly that for Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse pop-up bar at London Cocktail Week.
The San Francisco bartender took top prize at Virgin Atlantic’s cocktail competition. The fierce but friendly competition asked 13 bartenders to create an original cocktail using Aviation Gin as the base spirit. Daniel’s Hal Jordan cocktail, a riff on the classic pre-Prohibition era Aviation cocktail, is described by Virgin Atlantic as “a beautiful riff on the classic Aviation. Simple and elegant in presentation.”
She stirred together a combination of Aviation American Gin, Pomp and Whimsy gin liqueur, Maraschino Luxardo, and lemon bitters. The cocktail bearing the alias of the first Green Lantern Space Sector 2814 will be served in Virgin Atlantic clubhouses around the globe.
As mentioned above, when it comes to designing a cocktail after Hal Jordan using Aviation American Gin in a Aviation variation is an inspired concept. In the comics, prior to becoming a member of the Green Lantern Corps and for a time while concealing his identity on Earth, Jordan is a fearless aviator. The base spirit of the cocktail, Aviation American Gin, is partially owned by Ryan Reynolds. The actor famously portrayed Hal Jordan in the 2011 Green Lantern film.
Additionally, thanks to comic writer and artist Darwyn Cooke, it was established in DC: The New Frontier that Hal and his father both take their fighter pilot call signs from booze references. Hal’s father, Martin, goes by The Great Martini while Hal sports the moniker Highball. It makes the comic icon perfectly suited for a cocktail (although it would be weird to serve an Aviation-inspired cocktail in a highball glass).
If you look at the crystal clear cocktail you might think “wait, shouldn’t it be green?” Yes and no. Hal spends plenty of time out of costume and in his civvies. This cocktail, as the name implies, is the powered down Hal. Besides, the Hal Jordan cocktail is a nice change of pace from the long list of cocktails attempting to claim the Green Lantern moniker. A cursory search finds numerous Green Lantern cocktails with the only thought going into most of those drinks being “let’s make it green!” Seriously folks, there’s nothing about Hal’s personality that says “Midori melon” or *shudders* “apple pucker.”
A better fit for a Green Lantern cocktail? Maybe attempt a Last Word variation. The Aviation is already two swapped ingredients away (gin, maraschino, green chartreuse, and lime), so it would be like doing a quick costume change.
Interestingly (if you’re into comics and cocktails) the Aviation typically has a violet hue thanks to the addition of crème de violette. First thought? Hal Jordan’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Carol Ferris, a.k.a. Star Sapphire. Not only is her color violet when she’s in Star Sapphire mode but she’s also a pilot and owns Ferris Aircraft. Aviation!
Daniel wasn’t the only San Francisco bartender representing Bay Area bars at the contest. Smuggler’s Cove made the comic book connection with a cocktail called “Superhero Landing.” Their cocktail features Aviation gin, Casis, yellow chartreuse, lemon juice, and Lanson Champagne.
Additional world-class bars taking part included NYC bars Dead Rabbit and Employees Only, LA bars The Walker Inn and The Spare Room, London’s Dandelyn, Johannesburg’s Mootee, and others. A full list of participants and creations can be found here.
We don’t have the Hal Jordan cocktail’s exact recipe measurements, but here’s how to build an Aviation cocktail in case you’d like to backward engineer.
There are, essentially, two common versions of Aviation.
The original version early 20th century version by Hotel Wallick’s Hugo Ensslin:
- 1½ oz. gin
- ¾ oz. lemon juice
- 2 dashes maraschino liqueur
- 2 dashes crème de violette
Shake with ice and strain into a glass.
The more common International Bartenders Association Aviation recipe:
Shake with ice and strain into a glass.