Cleared for Departure

2 oz gin
1/2 oz clarified lime juice
1/3 oz maraschino liqueur
1/3 oz crème de violette
lemon twist, for garnish

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

This twist on the classic Aviation is one of the two best-selling cocktails that have earned a permanent spot on the Metrovino menu (the other being the Shift Drink). The use of clarified lime juice and stirring instead of shaking allows the striking color of the creme de violette to shine through. I recommend a floral or citrus-forward gin in this. The brands we use are Damrak gin, Luxardo maraschino, and Rothman and Winter crème de violette, but feel free to make substitutions.

If desired, the clarified lime juice and maraschino liqueur can be combined in the proper proportions, bottled, and kept chilled, adjusting the cocktail recipe accordingly. This will help preserve the life of the lime juice if not using it immediately.

[Photo by John Valls.]


Crystal Caipirinha


2 oz cachaça (Novo Fogo Silver)
1 oz clarified lime juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
lime peel, for garnish

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime twist. It’s important to cut the lime twist over the drink; this isn’t just a visual garnish, it’s there to incorporate the citrus oils that would get released during muddling in a traditional Caipirinha.


Clarified Lime Juice

200 grams lime juice
50 grams water
.5 grams agar agar

Briefly boil the water and agar agar together, then whisk into the lime juice. Chill in an ice bath until it lightly gels, then strain through muslin or a wet paper coffee filter.

This method of clarifying lime juice comes from Dave Arnold of the French Culinary Institute. He explains it in much more detail at his site. Using clarified lime juice in mixed drinks allows one to stir instead of shake, resulting in beautifully clear cocktails.