Sensation Cocktail


Sensation Cocktail.
3 Dashes Maraschino. (7.5ml Luxardo Maraschino)
3 Sprigs Fresh Mint. (3 Fresh sprigs Kentucky Colonel Mint, from backyard)
1/4 Lemon Juice. (3/4 oz Lemon Juice)
3/4 Dry Gin. (1 1/2 oz Beefeater’s Gin)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. (Garnish with spanked mint tip.)

EDIT. Note the amounts for the ingredients in this drink should have been 7.5ml Maraschino, 3 Sprigs Mint, 1/2 oz Lemon Juice, 1 1/2 oz Gin.

Robert Vermeire notes, in his book “Cocktails: How to mix them”, that this is a “Recipe by James Berkelmans, Paris.”

I’ve actually always been fond of the “Sensation Cocktail”. Short, sharp, and tart, it also has a pretty hilarious name, sounding like it relates to some sexual accessory. The “Sensation” is really Aviation Cocktail, with mint in place of Creme de Violette. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t quite have the “magic” of an Aviation. Making it for modern drinkers, I usually throw a quarter to a half an ounce of simple in there just to take a bit more of the edge off the tartness of the lemon, but even so, I find few people who really appreciate it. An example of a good, but slightly pedestrian cocktail. Not as tasty as many of its close relatives.  Heck, Jeffrey Morganthaler has practically made a career out of a version of this drink made with simple syrup instead of Maraschino. Well, that, his scintillating wit, boyish good looks, and, most importantly, stylish neck wear.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

13 thoughts on “Sensation Cocktail

  1. Why not just make the drink to the Savoy spec. by using less lemon juice? Although I observe that when lemon juice is not in at least a 1:1 ratio with a liqueur, one should be expecting a tart drink.

    • You know, now that I look at this recipe again, I did have the ratio wrong.

      Should have been 1 1/2 oz gin to 1/2 oz lemon lemon juice.

      Though, hm, the drink looks small enough in the glass that I might have gotten the amounts right and just written it down wrong.

      • Perhaps I will try this tonight with 2oz Plymouth, 1/2 Lemon, 1/2 Maraschino (like I like my aviations made).

      • I see from your link that you credit Gary Regan with the 2oz gin, 1/2 each of Maraschino and lemon juice recipe for Aviation. To my taste, even with Luxardo, Gary Regan does a fine job with this recipe (leaving aside any nomenclature debates). When you make aviations with 1/2oz of Luxardo Maraschino, are you using 2oz of Gin? If so, perhaps your fancy lemons are not as sour as the ones from the Concrete Jungle. :)

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