The Lover's Flight

cocktails liqueur guide liqueur the boys club  -  2013-07-22
The elixir of long life
Photo by Alessio Fangano

Just south of the Texas border, a unique plant called the Turnera Diffusa is grown. It is usually called by its more colloquial name, Damiana, and is the base for an herbal liqueur of the same name.

The plant itself is known for being an aphrodisiac, and its usage dates all the way back to the Mayans. Although it is a common shrubbery in Southwest Texas, Mexico, and Latin America, it is still illegal in Louisiana because of its peculiar properties. The liqueur is made today and is said to still contain the same aphrodisiac properties of the plant.

Damiana provides an interesting, sweet, herbal flavor. It can be used in lieu of triple sec in a margarita, and in fact, many in Mexico claim that it was the original flavor used in a margarita. It can also be used to sweeten any light flavored drinks or cocktails, and I have particularly enjoyed using it to replace simple syrup in my cocktails for a touch of sweetness with added flavor. You cannot miss the bottle of Damiana; it is shaped much like a token to a fertility goddess.

When researching the liqueur more, I found a particularly interesting usage of it from Trey Jenkins, a bartender at Péché in Austin, Texas. He calls it a Lover’s Flight, and it is a unique take on the classic cocktail, The Aviation. Named for Damiana’s amorous properties, maybe you and your lover can take flight too after trying this amazing cocktail.

The Lover’s Flight

The Lover’s Flight
Yield: 1 cocktail
Glasswear: cocktail glass
Tools: cocktail shaker, mesh strainer


  • 2 fl. oz. — gin
  • 0.5 fl. oz. — lemon juice
  • 0.5 fl. oz. — Damiana liqueur
  • 0.25 fl. oz. — Crème de violette
  • 1 — lemon peel (for garnish)


  1. Add ice and all ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Add a lemon peel for garnish.
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