The Ad Astra Cocktail

For Ernst Stavro Blofeld's birthday

Your cocktail calendar entry for: May
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May 28 is Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s birthday, and to celebrate our favorite supervillain we’ll be mixing the Ad Astra cocktail.  We don’t usually write about villains, but as a fictional character we give Blofeld a special dispensation.  A criminal mastermind with aspirations of world domination, he has inspired many since his creation by Ian Fleming for the James Bond series of novels and films.  He didn’t drink (nobody’s perfect), but his penchant for violet breath mints provides perfect cocktail fodder in the Ad Astra.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld

Fleming explains in Thunderball that Blofeld was born May 28, 1908 (which coincidentally is Ian Fleming’s birthday) in Gdingen, Germany.  His father was Polish and his mother Greek, which explains his Greek middle name Stavro.  After college he worked in a sensitive Polish government position, which he used for a trading advantage on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.  Foreseeing World War II he made copies of top-secret wires, destroyed all records of his existence and established his own private intelligence organization that sold information to both sides.  Fun guy.

Blofeld appears in three Bond novels and several films.  Fleming described him as a huge man, roughly 280 lbs., black Ernst Stavro Blofeldeyes, thin mouth and long, pointed hands and feet.  In the movies he took several forms, though our Editorial Board believes Donald Pleasence in You Only Live Twice really got it right with the shaved head, facial scar, Nehru jacket, and fluffy cat.  Not to mention the G Plan 6250 chair, the perfect throne for the villain of villains.  Importantly for our drink of choice, he also has violet-scented breath as a result of chewing scented cachous, particularly when he is going to deliver bad news.

Blofeld, of course, founded SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion).  And he did with style, becoming the first villain we know of with his lair inside a hollowed-out volcano.  Your correspondent likes to keep a picture of Blofeld on his office wall with the caption “What would Blofeld do?”.  It’s helpful for tough business decisions, even though HR would certainly frown upon electrocuting office staff that underperform.

Bond always foiled his plans, but Blofeld endured and was the clear inspiration for Dr. Evil and his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, in the Austin Powers film series.

Ad Astra Cocktail

When discussing matters related to James Bond, we obviously first turn to the Vesper as we did on James Bond Day.  And as evidence that drinkers are the Forces of Good, Blofeld’s lifestyle wasn’t a whole lot of fun.  Fleming describes it in Thunderball: “For the rest, he didn’t smoke or drink and he had never been known to sleep with a member of either sex.  He didn’t even eat very much.”

So we can’t point to a specific cocktail as Blofeld’s favorite.  But we can enjoy something reminiscent of his violet flavored cough drops.  Enter the Ad Astra cocktail.  That’s Latin for “to the stars” and seems apt given that it’s a variation on the Aviation cocktail we mixed for Orville Wright’s birthday.

The Ad Astra was created by Ben Simpson of the Smoke & Oakum Manufactory, a rum distillery in New Zealand.  Strangely enough, it doesn’t use rum but relies on gin and really differs from the Aviation only in proportions.  The Ad Astra recipe reduces the amount of lemon juice, raises the prominence of Crème de Violette and makes the whole more gin-forward.  It is a perfect cocktail if you want to upstage Blofeld and have a cocktail in your hand while you plot your version of world domination.

ad astra cocktail

Ad Astra Cocktail

Similar to the Aviation cocktail, the Ad Astra changes the proportions to make the Creme de Violette more prominent and reduce the astringency of the lemon juice. All in all, both drinks are variations on the basic sours family of recipes, which use a base spirit, a citrus juice (typically lemon or lime) and a sweetener. Here we have Maraschino Liqueur and Creme de Violette to pick up the sweet side of the equation.
4 from 2 votes


  • oz Gin
  • ½ oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
  • ½ oz Crème de Violette liqueur
  • ¼ oz Fresh lemon juice


  • Add all ingredients to your trusty mixing glass. Unlike most cocktails containing juice this one is best stirred rather than shaken.
  • Add ice and stir to properly chill.
  • Strain into pre-chilled cocktail glass.
  • Drink.
  • Plan world domination.


Calories: 239kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 0.02gFat: 0.02gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 9mgFiber: 0.02gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 0.4IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 0.4mgIron: 0.04mg


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