- Sloe Gin
- Apricot Brandy
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Sip in our Speakeasy with a star of the silver screen, the Tramp himself, Charlie Chaplin! This cocktail is the best choice for guests with a serious love for sweet drinks, especially if they’re vodka devotees troubled by the spirit’s absence on our menu. Like a great vodka cocktail, the Charlie Chaplin lets its indulgent, fruity qualities shine without letting the booze steal the show.
But what exactly is sloe gin? It’s important to note that it’s not really gin at all, but a gin-based liqueur. Sloe berries are soaked in gin for a while and the result is a much sweeter and less boozy liqueur. Liqueurs are basically base spirits sweetened and flavored with added fruit, herbs, or spices. Despite not being actual gin anymore, it’s been historically referred to by the slang term “sloe gin” and the name has stuck.
The Charlie Chaplin also gets an extra sweet boost from apricot liqueur. The sweetness of the drink also highlights a very important component of bartending technique: proper shaking. If you stick to the recipe, but only give your shaker a quick back-and-forth, the drink won’t be diluted by the ice enough. The result will be too thick and syrupy. To do it right, you’ve got to shake it vigorously for around 15 seconds.
The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book was published in 1934 and listed hundreds of cocktails supposedly served at the “World’s Most Famous Brass Rail” before and during Prohibition. The Charlie Chaplin is listed under the section of “Pre-War Cocktails.” It is believed to have been invented at the Waldorf-Astoria, itself.
If this cocktail was indeed going by the name “Charlie Chaplin” prior to World War I, it was named in honor of the silent film star just before his fame skyrocketed to dizzying heights. He’d started appearing in silent films in 1914 and had made dozens by the time the United States entered the war. In the following years, films like The Kid (1921), City Lights (1931), and Modern Times (1936) cemented his place among the most innovative pioneers of Hollywood.
Chaplin was an actor, director, writer, editor, and composer for most of his works, a stunning example of what artists could create onscreen if only given the independence to create.
Charlie Chaplin is remembered most for his Tramp character that he continuously revisited, a bumbling, affable vagrant who tries (and often fails) to fit in as an upstanding member of society. Chaplin was an actor, director, writer, editor, and composer for most of his works, a stunning example of what artists could create onscreen if only given the independence to create.
Suitably, his eponymous cocktail is a similar artistic triumph, just waiting to be consumed by the masses.