Summer, 2005. A small tiki party in West Seattle. Bartender Ryan Magarian is handed a complex summer botanical infusion by a friend from Portland, Oregon. Finding it unlike anything he had ever tasted, he quickly seeks out its maker, Portland’s House Spirits Distillery.
Recognizing a common interest in spirit, cocktail, and food interactions, the distillers at House Spirits share with Ryan their idea for a renegade regional gin style. In June of 2006—after nearly 30 rounds of trials—Aviation Gin takes wing. Many believe this to be the first brand partnership between distiller and bartender in American history.
Aviation belongs to an entirely new category of dry gins. These gins embody a shift away from the usual overabundance of juniper toward a more forward balance of botanicals. Aviation explores the rich, floral and savory notes of lavender, cardamom, and sarsaparilla to capture the lushness, spice, creativity, and freshness of the Pacific Northwest. In this way, we offer the American palate its first real taste of American gin.