Earlier this week the New York Times ran an interesting article on 'schools' of bartending. I guess I'd say I'm a member of the minimalist school: 5 ingredients or less, no unnecessary fruit, keep the flavors simple and straightforward.

They mentioned a cocktail that I hadn't heard of and hasn't been in my calendar this year: Aviation. It's pretty simple: 2 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, and a dash or two of maraschino liqueur.

I mixed up one tonight (I'm using Calvert's gin - not my favorite, but I hate to let it go to waste). I used 2 oz gin, 1 oz lemon juice, and a drizzle of maraschino. The lemon looked like it would make the drink a tad citrusy for my taste, so I added a teaspoon of simple syrup.

Not a bad cocktail. It is on the lemony side, though the slight maraschino notes are nice. And I don't think I needed the simple syrup.

Internet Cocktail Database lists a variant that looked interesting, so I tried it too: 1 part bourbon to one part grape juice.

Now, tell me how that's a variant of gin, lemon juice, and maraschino. It's in another part of the solar system. But I was intrigued.

I bought some red globe grapes. I wanted purple grapes, but the nearest grocery didn't carry them, and I didn't want to use white/green grapes. Juicing grapes in my juicer turned out a bit messier than I'd anticipated, but I got a couple ounces or so of juice.

This wasn't a bad drink at all. (For the bourbon I used Jack.) I liked it a lot. It's simple, and the fresh grape juice adds a subtle sweetness and just a tad of fruitiness to the cocktail. Regular Welch's or whatever commercial grape juice would make it too sweet, like spiked communion wine in a plastic cup in a Kentucky Baptist church. Store-bought unsweetened grape juice might be OK.

It's a good drink and easy to make; give it a try sometime.