There is a great cocktail bar which doubles as a jazz club right within walking distance of my apartment: The Green Lady Lounge. If you haven’t been or can’t go, take a tour inside with Google Maps.

They have a great cocktail menu and better bartenders. This is one of the drinks off the menu that Ethan, one of the bartenders, created by creating a version of a version of the Aviation. He was inspired by the actual cocktail, the Water Lily (presumably more to come on both of these, but one never knows.)

There’s probably a wealth of cocktails waiting to be discovered based around the Aviation since Creme de Violette was nearly impossible to find in the United States until about 5  years ago, and, for a decent period of time, was only available in California and New York State, assuming you could find it at all.

The recipe

1 oz. Gin

1 oz. St. Germain

1 oz. Crème de violette

1 oz. lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, and stir. Strain and pour into a martini glass.

Evaluation

This is a great cocktail, but there’s a lot going on with it. This is a cocktail for people who like sweeter drinks. The Lily Pad is certainly no Chocolate Orange Martini, but it’s not for the scotch and soda drinker who thinks that Manhattans are “too sweet.” (Somehow these people exist.)

That being said, thankfully many of my friends don’t have cocktail tastes quite so narrow, and when we went out for my birthday a few weeks ago, we ordered a round of them as the jazz band played. The Lily Pad is perfect for a jazz night, where you’re jamming out, and you want a drink for the set.

The ingredients round themselves out quite nicely, although it dances nears cloying without quite making it across the line. I would be hard pressed to order three of these in a night, but I feel confident I would drink two. Not every drink needs to be binged.

One of the surprising things about this cocktail is the use of St. Germain. When St. Germain came out, it certainly felt like everyone was running around trying to figure out what to do with it. Bartenders were making St. Germain French 75’s and St. Germain Gimlets (which I love) or an Elderflower Collins. For a few years, you couldn’t turn around without someone making a St. Germain cocktail whose entire purpose was to get St. Germain in the drink. Those days seem to be fading, and the approach to St. Germain has matured. In this drink, we see St. Germain complimenting the other ingredients, instead of being center stage and the only ingredient that mattered. Seeing ingredients mature is part of the fun of cocktailing.

Cost

Full disclosure I can’t remember how much this costs in the Green Lady, and don’t order it on a busy weekend night. Don’t be that person until or unless they put it on the menu. But if Ethan is working and it’s a slow night, you should definitely have one.

Cost at home if absent all ingredients

Gin: $18 (I’ve been drinking Beefeater Gin)

St. Germain: $35

Crème de violette: $20 (Rothman & Winter Creme de Violette Liqueur (750ml))

1 Lemon: $.33

Total cost: $75.33

Cost per drink:

Gin: $0.72

St. Germain: $1.40

Crème de violette: $0.88

Lemon Juice: $.17

Total cost: $3.17

Like I said, if you’re in Kansas City, go to the Green Lady and have a great drink. If you’re not, then make a special trip to see me and this bar. As always, happy, and safe, drinking.

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