Moonlight Cocktail Recipe

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Moonlight Nutrition Facts


Fat:0 g

Protein:0 g

Carbohydrates:7 g

Alcohol %:22

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Moonlight Cocktail is a classic cocktail that was first published in Harry Craddock's 'The Savoy Cocktail Book' in 1930. It is a variation of the classic Aviation cocktail, but without the maraschino liqueur. The Moonlight Cocktail is a favorite among those who enjoy gin-based cocktails with a citrus twist.

  • First published in 1930
  • Variation of the Aviation cocktail
  • Popular among gin lovers

How Moonlight Tastes?

The Moonlight Cocktail has a refreshing, slightly sweet and sour taste. The gin provides a strong, herbal undertone, while the Creme de Violette and lemon juice add a floral, citrusy note. The cocktail is balanced, smooth, and has a lingering floral finish.

Interesting facts about Moonlight

  • The Moonlight Cocktail is a variation of the Aviation cocktail.
  • It was first published in 'The Savoy Cocktail Book' in 1930.
  • The cocktail is named after the moonlight because of its pale, luminescent color.


A few good options for Moonlight are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


The backbone of any respectable cocktail, gin brings the juniper-led punch that creates a robust foundation. With 2 oz, you're in for a serious sip, anything less and you might as well be drinking a mocktail. Skip it, and you’re missing the party. Opt for a floral gin to dance with the violette.

Alex Green

Crème de Violette

This is the fragrant night sky in our Moonlight mix. 0.5 oz adds just the right amount of perfumed sweetness; any more and you risk wandering into grandma's perfume territory. Leave it out, and the moon loses its luster. Violet liqueur can substitute if you fancy a different shade of twilight.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

Fresh squeezed at 0.5 oz for that tart twist, turning the cocktail from a humdrum sipper into a citrusy soirée. Too much and you pucker up like you’ve kissed the sour face of the moon. Without it, the drink is as flat as the earth was once believed to be. Lime juice can stand in, but changes the celestial theme.

Emma Rose

Simple Syrup

Sweetness to balance out the lemon's sass, at 0.5 oz we keep things just sweet enough without being cloying. Skipping the syrup is like refusing a blanket on a chilly night; you're left uncomfortably bitter. A dash of honey or agave can be your sweet salvation if simple syrup is scarce.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Moonlight Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Add all ingredients into the shaker.
  3. Shake well until the outside of the shaker becomes frosty.
  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Pro Tips

  1. Make sure to shake the cocktail well to properly mix all the ingredients.
  2. Use a chilled glass to keep the cocktail cold for longer.
  3. If you want a less sweet cocktail, you can reduce the amount of simple syrup.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese Plate: A selection of mild cheeses, such as goat cheese or brie, can complement the floral notes of the crème de violette.
  • Seafood: Delicate seafood dishes, like grilled shrimp or a light seafood salad, pair nicely with the citrusy and botanical hints in the cocktail.
  • Desserts: Lemon sorbet or a blueberry cheesecake would be a delightful match for this fragrant and slightly sweet drink.


  • Sparkling Water: To cleanse the palate between sips of Moonlight.
  • White Tea: Its subtle flavors won't overpower the cocktail's delicate balance.

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What you could change in Moonlight

If you don't have Creme de Violette, you can substitute it with Blue Curacao to maintain the color, but the taste will be slightly different.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Elderflower Moonlight

  • Substitute the simple syrup for elderflower liqueur.
  • The drink becomes a botanical garden at night, with elderflower adding an enchanting, sweet floral layer.

Crimson Moonlight

  • Add a splash of berry liqueur, like Chambord.
  • The flavor deepens into a berry-infused dream, painting the moon a shade of crimson.

Sparkling Moonlight

  • Top with a splash of prosecco after pouring into the glass.
  • The Moonlight gains a bubbly personality, lifting your spirits to the stars with each fizzy sip.

In case you forgot basics how to make Moonlight

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Moonlight

What is the best time to enjoy a Moonlight cocktail?

Moonlight cocktail is a versatile drink which can be enjoyed anytime. However, it is most commonly served as an evening aperitif or enjoyed during social gatherings.

What is the best type of gin to use for a Moonlight cocktail?

A dry or classic gin works best in a Moonlight Cocktail, but you can experiment with different gins to suit your personal taste.

Can I use lime juice instead of lemon juice in the Moonlight cocktail?

Lime juice can be a substitute for lemon juice, but it may slightly alter the taste, making the cocktail a bit more tart.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Moonlight cocktail?

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of the Moonlight cocktail by substituting gin with a non-alcoholic gin alternative and Creme de Violette with violet syrup.

What does Creme de Violette taste like?

Creme de Violette is a sweet liqueur with a distinct floral flavor, providing notes of violet flowers to cocktails.

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