Monday, July 22, 2024

Curt’s Cocktail Corner: This local libation is called the Harbour Air


This one is the deepest shade of purple and is made with at least one Victoria-based ingredient!

It’s basically an Aviation, which is an already purple gin cocktail that’s been regarded as a classic for many decades now.

It gets more purple though…

The drink is what it is because the cocktail replaces regular ol’ gin with Empress Gin–the most purple spirit of all time (I think).

Given that the Fairmont Empress, which is the namesake of the gin, is just around the corner from Harbour Air, I thought the name fit nicely.

Trust me, this is one vibrant local libation you’ll be proud to show your friends and lovers.

Here’s how to make a Harbour Air:


2 oz – Empress 1801 Gin
½ oz – Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
½ oz – Creme de Violette (gives it a purple booster)
½ oz – lemon juice, freshly squeezed (or from the bottle, I won’t judge)
Garnish – brandied cherry (the fanciest cherry you can find will do)


  • Add everything but the garnish to a shaker with a handful of ice cubes in it
  • Shake with all your might (but only for a bit, until chilled)
  • Strain into a coop glass, or whatever the nicest glassware you have is
  • Put a toothpick through the cherry and let it steep in the gloriousness of the Harbour Air
  • Drink up and think Inner Harbour thoughts

Let me know in the comments if you like it/love it/become obsessed with it/start teaching your local watering hole’s bartender how to make it!

Just remember to drink responsibly and never drink and drive.

Curtis Blandy

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