Cocktail of the Day: The Claridge

The results are in! The winner of this month’s Raiders of the Lost Cocktail is … not the drink I submitted. (D’oh.)

I liked it better than Paul did, but here was his observation: “I really wanted to like the Pisco-Apricot Tropical, from Charles Baker’s The South American Gentleman’s Companion. Fortunately, I’m accustomed to disappointment, so the fact that the drink didn’t work out wasn’t too much of a shock.”

Ouch. 🙂 Here’s where I messed up, though … Paul made another observation: “Apricot brandy and pineapple — who knew the combination could be so tasty? If you see these two flavors together in a recipe, go for it.”

The other version of the Pisco-Apricot Tropicál that Baker listed as a variation added a pony of pineapple juice to the first recipe. We tried that one later and liked it a lot better. Unfortunately, thanks to my having waited until the last minute (again) I had already submitted the other one, so I blew it. I do still recommend the pineapply version, so give it a shot and see what yez think.

The one Paul chose as the winner, though, was absolutely sublime and blew both Pisco-Apricot Tropicáls out of the water. We made them last night and loved them, and the drink will most definitely be added to our regular rotation. (Fair play to yez, Jay and Charlie!) I particularly recommend Rothman & Winter’s Orchard Apricot in this drink.


1-1/2 ounces gin.
1-1/2 ounces dry vermouth.
1/2 ounce apricot brandy.
1/2 ounce Cointreau.

Stir with ice for at least 30 seconds, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
No garnish.

The original recipe in the Savoy Cocktail Book called for a half-jigger of each of the liqueurs, and Jay toned that down to a half pony. I haven’t tried the original version yet, but I will in fact take Paul’s word for it that it’s better, as I prefer drier cocktails; a full jigger of liqueurs might be a bit much for me, given my typical tastes. The use of the R&W apricot also lends a bit of extra dryness while not compromising on flavor (in fact, its flavor is exquisite).

The only problem with this recipe is that it makes a really big drink, bigger than we usually like to make. What I ended up doing was increasing the recipe by 50%, using 2-1/4 ounces each of gin and vermouth, and 3/4 ounce each for the liqueurs. This made two perfectly-sized drinks for Wes and me.


I’m glad I finally got a chance to participate in RotLC,and I’m looking forward to the next one. This time I’ll get my butt in gear earlier, do more digging and see if I can come up with the winner!