Avión Espresso has little in common
with other flavored spirits on the mar-
ket. To begin with, the distillery doesn’t
use a neutral spirit as the base, but real
Avión Silver—a decision which means it’s
more expensive to produce and has leaner
margins (Avión Silver retails for approxi-
mately $40 a bottle, and Avión Espresso
is $24.99). “We wanted to make sure we
were priced competitively and giving the
consumer great value for their money,”
Second, it’s remarkably unadulterated,
without the quantities of gums, sweeten-
ers and additives that many employ. “We
focused on Avión Tequila, Espresso, and a
touch of sweetness,” says Fagnan. “We re-
ally want the flavor of the agave to come
through.” Austin and Fagnan chose Italian
espresso rather than any other coffee—“we
felt the Italian espresso process made the
best partner for the Avión, and you can im-
mediately smell the roasted espresso beans
on the nose.”
The result is something that will
surprise even the most flavor-jaded in
the business. The lack of excessive sugar
means Avión Espresso isn’t cloying or vis-
cous, and possesses an appealing tequila
freshness upfront. Fagnan rightly points
out, “It keeps making you want to go
back for another taste.” It’s also exceed-
ingly mixable in a range of cocktails.
“We’ve been so lucky because bartend-
ers have embraced Avión,” says Fagnan.
Although it has just begun to officially roll
out, a few instant favorites have already
emerged. “People love the Red Eye, which
is equal parts Avión Espresso and Jameson
on the rocks; others love mixing it with
iced espresso, which is extremely refresh-
ing,” Fagnan reports.
The creativity springboards from there.
Similar to what mixologists have done with
Avión’s tequila expressions—subbing in the
Silver in cocktails which call for vodka, and
switching out bourbon or Scotch in favor
of Avión Añejo or Reposado—bartenders
are finding ways to mix with Espresso in
deliciously unique ways.
We paid a visit to Colin Maxwell,
lead bartender at The General, a new
restaurant in downtown Manhattan, to
see what he had been concocting. From
its unlikely marriage with lemon and
grapefruit juice in Maxwell’s Black Ops
to the layer of complexity it added to the
dark, nutty, fig-laced Full Metal Jacket
the Avión Espresso shined through ev-
ery time with a versatility that surprised
all of us.
Stir and serve.
Full Metal Jacket
Pequin Pepper Tincture
Stir with ice and strain
into Pernod-rinsed glass.
Old Fashioned Bitters
Shake and serve.
Cocktails by Colin Maxwell,
Lead Bartender, The General
Black Ops cocktail
aviÓn espresso will
surprise even the
in the business.
and Colin Maxwell