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A Guide To Crafting The Perfect Ad Astra Cocktail

ad astra

Ad Astra means 'to the stars' in Latin. This star-powered cocktail is a drink that has sweet, floral, fruity and sour taste balanced in a way that it tastes simply delicious.


This cocktail has a Kiwi origin! It was created by Ben Simpson associated with rum distillery Smoke & Oakum Manufactory in New Zealand. Interestingly, Simpson did not use rum to make Ad Astra but gin!  He used aviation as an inspiration to make the cocktail but added that he did not want to make it a martini-variant like the classic cocktail. 

He represented aviation fuel by using the washed-out purple colour of crème de violette liqueur. The spinning of ice while stirring is similar to the action of a rotary engine which was used in the early years of aviation, with the mixing spoon being the propeller shaft. The drop of the caster reminds one of the rotary engines which prevent the plane from seizing. 

Flavour Profile

Ad Astra was inspired by the Aviation cocktail. Both cocktails have similar ingredients, they belong to the basic sours family of recipes which use a base spirit, a citrus juice (typically lemon or lime) and a sweetener. Like Aviation, Ad Astra uses a combination of violette liqueur, maraschino liqueur, gin and lemon juice. 

Violette liqueur is an interesting ingredient. It has a deep blue colour and a potent flavour which can easily overpower any drink. When it is used in small amounts, it adds an amazing taste to the cocktail. It has beautiful floral notes and fragrances which add a decadent vibe. 

There are two key differences between Aviation and Ad Astra. Ad Astra has an increased proportion of maraschino liqueur and decreased use of lemon juice, which further moves it away from a martini drink. Also, a higher amount of maraschino liqueur makes Ad Astra a star drink. Aviation is shaken and Ad Astra is stirred, further distancing it from a martini.

Ad Astra Recipe


50 ml London Dry Gin
10 ml Maraschino Liqueur⁠
10 ml Crème De Violette Liqueur⁠
5 ml Lemon Juice⁠, freshly juiced
A drop of Castor Oil, for garnish


Take a mixing glass and add all the ingredients. Stir well and finely strain into a chilled martini glass. Float a drop of castor oil on the drink's surface for garnish.

Aviation Recipe

Here's the recipe for Aviation for your reference.


50 ml Hayman's London Dry Gin
15 ml Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
10 ml Crème de violette liqueur
15 ml Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
10 ml Chilled water (omit if using wet ice)
Lemon Twist, for garnish
Sugar, for rimming


On a plate, add a little sugar. Use a lemon slice to rub on the rim of a coupe glass. Now, shake all the ingredients with ice in a shaker. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass rimmed with sugar. 

While it's great to learn about alcoholic beverages and alcohol-infused foods, it is important to also consume alcohol moderately. Remember to serve and drink responsibly to ensure you and your guests are healthy and out of harm's way. If you know anyone who has trouble controlling their alcohol intake, please refer them to a professional immediately.

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