It was named after the comedic actor of the early film era, a cocktail that has been largely forgotten in modern times but is rich and indulgent enough to conjure up Hollywood glamour.
A recipe for this cocktail was published in 1935 in Albert Stevens Crockett’s 1934 “The Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book,” in which it called for equal amounts of sloe gin, lemon juice, and apricot brandy for the drink. A modern version of the book published by Frank Caiafa has reimagined the drink in the style shown. You may also be interested in a cocktail called the Lita Grey, named after one of Chaplin’s wives. In addition to sloe gin and apricot, it also includes a modern twist on the classic cocktail. It’s hard to imagine these two drinks have anything in common with their namesakes, who had a quick, three-year marriage in the twenties.
If you don’t want to settle for anything less than the best Charlie Chaplin, opt for true apricot brandy. These spirits are distilled from fruit in a similar way to traditional brandy, which is distilled from grapes. Unlike some other brands of syrup, they do not contain any additional sweeteners. That’s because sloe gin is a liqueur, and it alone can completely overwhelm the sweet note of this drink.