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. Ryan 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 complement. He set off for Portland to meet the distiller.
Equally passionate about his craft, Christian Krogstad founded a craft distillery in Portland, Oregon. With a pioneering spirit, Christian had set out to recreate a uniquely American Gin. But American gins disappeared with prohibition, so no one knew exactly what they tasted like.
Aviation is crafted in small batches.Christian and Ryan's journey was inspired by the cocktail tradition of the Jazz Era and one of its most influential bartenders, Hugo Ennsilin, author of the last cocktail recipe book published before prohibition. The vision was to create a gin that blended perfectly with Hugo's American-style gin cocktails. None was as important as Hugo's masterpiece, The Aviation Cocktail.
Meticulously experimenting with ingredient and technique, Ryan and Christian tested each craft distilled batch using the Aviation Cocktail as the ultimate benchmark. They finally landed on a truly unique creation. A gin that was smoother, subtler, more harmonious. Capturing the lushness and freshness of the Pacific Northwest, they achieved a balanced medley of botanicals, propelled by citrus with juniper in the background. So smooth and delicious, it can fly solo, neat or on the rocks. Subtle but spectacular with tonic, it takes any mixed drink to new heights, especially Hugo's Aviation Cocktail.
In 2018, a 'significant' stake of Aviation Gin was bought by A-List actor Ryan Reynolds, becoming its new owner and creative director, He said:
- Ryan Reynolds, Owner, Aviation American Gin.