I am a big fan of Richard Godwin’s online cocktail emporium The Spirits.  Recently I was delving around in there, reading about Apricot Brandy and I spotted this comment on the Charlie Chaplin cocktail.

“The original recipe of this from the Old Waldorf Astoria bar book is equal parts sloe gin, apricot brandy and lime juice – very sweet! a bit weird! However, modern bartenders tend to make it in the Last Word/Corpse Reviver proportions: 20ml gin, 20ml sloe gin, 20ml apricot brandy, 20ml lime juice, all shaken. Yum.”

I first tried the Charlie Chaplin in 2013 when my chum Margie sent me a link to a brilliant website called Forgotten Bookmarks.  Someone had scribbled down the recipe and left it in this book…

I love that this recipe has been passed on by Art Rose’s Father-in-Law whoever he might be… Me and Mr R also demonstrated this cocktail for one of the very first of our Quarantine Time videos.  My goodness, the time when the pubs were all shut for 3 months seems a long, long time ago now…

I fancied trying the version mentioned in The Spirits with the extra gin so me and the Mister did a bit of a taste test on the two.  Apricot brandy liquor is sweeter than pure apricot brandy, but that’s what I had around the place.  Is this oversight an excuse for getting yet another bottle of something for the cocktail cabinet for extra authenticity?!

Here are our soundbites after trying version #1 (the original)

Me – It’s a lip puckerer!

Mr R – It’s a tart one.

Me – Slightly cough sweetie.

Mr R – You wouldn’t neck that, you’ve got to treat it with respec’.

After trying the second we thought that the one without the gin tasted more complex and the modern version was a smoother drink.  In version one we tasted the apricot more, in the other, naturally enough, the gin was much more at the forefront.  We liked the sloe gin giving both versions a damonsy tartness.

Thanks Richard Godwin for giving me an excuse to make a dent in that bottle of sloe gin I have had for YONKS.


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