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Charlie Chaplin Cocktail

Made with equal parts sloe gin, apricot brandy, and fresh lime, this refreshing Charlie Chaplin cocktail recipe is a must-try. It’s as vibrant in flavor as it is in color, so it guarantees to please both the palate and the eyes!

Classic martini glass filled with the Charlie Chaplin drink - square

I was so intrigued when I came across this classic cocktail because frankly, I couldn’t imagine that the combination of the ingredients would be delicious.

Happily, I was wrong. I made the drink and fell instantly in love with it. I’ve since served it to guests that have come to our house and I have had to convince some of them that it does indeed taste delicious and to give it a try.

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Why do they doubt me at first? It’s the sloe gin. If you’ve never tasted this spirit, here’s what it tastes like: it is somewhat earthy, and has a plum and raisin taste. Sloe gin is also very sweet, which is why most people aren’t particularly fond of the liquor.

My grandmother was partial to the sloe gin fizz, which I always found pretty sweet.

So, take a chance on this delicious and colorful cocktail. I don’t think you will be disappointed. If you are afraid it will be too sweet, don’t be, as the lime cuts the sweetness of the sloe gin.

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The history of the Charlie Chaplin cocktail

According to my research, the cocktail was invented before the 1920s at New York city’s Waldorf Astoria hotel. It did so well that it was added to the 1934 “The Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book” by Albert Stevens Crockett. It was a prohibition cocktail and is considered a classic drink.

I’m just glad someone decided to invent it because I love to drink it and so do the people I make it for.

Helpful tips

  • There are different brands of sloe gin. I recommend Leroux if you’re budget conscious. As soon as I need another bottle, I want to try the more expensive Plymouth brand or Hayman’s.
  • I’ve seen this cocktail made with either lemon juice or, the way I prefer it, with lime juice. Try it my way first and then switch it up to see which you like better.
  • If you can’t find true apricot brandy in your local liquor store, you may be looking for it in the wrong place. I’ve found it both in the brandy section and also where you would find schnapps, other flavored brandies, and triple sec. Sometimes you will see it listed as apricot liqueur.
  • Wash your limes before cutting into them. Here’s how: Use an unscented natural soap. I buy mine as Whole Foods. Squirt some in your hands and rub the soap on the skin of the citrus. Then use a vegetable brush and scrub the skin. Rinse the fruit with cold water, making sure all the soap has been removed.
  • I like to garnish this cocktail with thin lime twists. I use my channeling knife. If you don’t have one, you can use a paring knife and cut as thin a strip as you can.
  • Here’s how to use a channeling knife: take the washed fruit in your non-dominant hand. With the channeling knife in your dominant hand, press the knife to the lime skin. Bear down and move the knife around the circumference of the fruit. For this cocktail I tried to get as long a twist as I could, which meant going around the lime more than once. Try not to bear down too hard so you get a lot of the pith (white part).
  • I recommend a dilution to this cocktail because of how syrupy sloe gin is. Here’s how: Shake the cocktail shaker longer than usual. I recommend shaking vigorously for at least 30 seconds, which will micro-chip and melt the ice somewhat.
  • For most of my martini-style drinks, I place the glassware in the freezer at least 10 minutes before starting the cocktail. That’s because I like a well-chilled cocktail glass from which to enjoy my creation.

How to make a Charlie Chaplin cocktail

Pre-step

Get a cocktail shaker and fill it halfway with ice. Also get a measuring glass and martini glasses.

Cut a few lime twists for garnish and set aside.

After measuring out the ingredients, pour them into the cocktail shaker.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – sloe gin, apricot brandy, and limes. (A)

Step two

Measure 3 ounces of sloe gin. (B)

Left - sloe gin, apricot brandy and limes. Right - sloe gin measured out

Step three

Measure 3 ounces of apricot brandy. (C)

Step four

Measure 3 ounces of fresh lime juice. (D)

Apricot brandy and lime measured out

Step five

Cap the cocktail shaker and shake for at least 30 seconds so the ice dilutes the cocktail somewhat.

Step six

Strain and divide the cocktail between the two martini glasses. Add the lime twists to each glass. I like to drape it over the rim.

Lime twists in the two martini glasses filled with the sloe gin cocktail

Isn’t the color gorgeous?

Vertical view of the bowl glass with a lime twist on the edge of it with the red drink

Let’s get a closer look.

Bowl glass filled with the red drink in front of the classic glass

So good.

classic martini glass with the chaplin cocktail with lots of limes on the table

I hope you enjoyed the best Charlie Chaplin cocktail I’ve ever had. I dare you to try it because I think you’ll really like it.

Other colorful cocktails

And as always, may all your dishes/drinks be delish!

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

Classic martini glass filled with the Charlie Chaplin drink - square

Charlie Chaplin Cocktail

Made with sloe gin, apricot brandy, and fresh lime, this refreshing Charlie Chaplin cocktail is a must-try. It’s as vibrant in flavor as it is in color, so it guarantees to please both the palate and the eyes!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Keyword: charlie chaplin cocktail, red cocktail, sloe gin cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cocktails
Calories: 240kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces sloe gin
  • 3 ounces apricot brandy
  • 3 ounces lime juice (freshly squeezed)

Garnish

  • 2 lime twists

Instructions

  • Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Get a measuring glass and glassware.
  • Add sloe gin, apricot brandy, and lime juice.
    3 ounces sloe gin, 3 ounces apricot brandy, 3 ounces lime juice
  • Cap shaker and shake for at least 30 seconds to get the ice to break up and dilute the drink somewhat. (See notes below.)
  • Strain and divide the cocktail between the two glasses.
  • Add a lime twist to each glass.
    2 lime twists
  • Sip
  • Smile
  • Enjoy
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Notes

Helpful tips
  • There are different brands of sloe gin. I recommend Leroux if you’re budget conscious. As soon as I need another bottle, I want to try the more expensive Plymouth brand or Hayman’s.
  • I’ve seen this cocktail made with either lemon juice or, the way I prefer it, with lime juice. Try it my way first and then switch it up to see which you like better.
  • If you can’t find true apricot brandy in your local liquor store, you may be looking for it in the wrong place. I’ve found it both in the brandy section and also where you would find schnapps, other flavored brandies, and triple sec. Sometimes you will see it listed as apricot liqueur.
  • Wash your limes before cutting into them. Here’s how: Use an unscented natural soap. I buy mine as Whole Foods. Squirt some in your hands and rub the soap on the skin of the citrus. Then use a vegetable brush and scrub the skin. Rinse the fruit with cold water, making sure all the soap has been removed.
  • I like to garnish this cocktail with thin lime twists. I use my channeling knife. If you don’t have one, you can use a paring knife and cut as thin a strip as you can.
  • Here’s how to use a channeling knife: take the washed fruit in your non-dominant hand. With the channeling knife in your dominant hand, press the knife to the lime skin. Bear down and move the knife around the circumference of the fruit. For this cocktail I tried to get as long a twist as I could, which meant going around the lime more than once. Try not to bear down too hard so you get a lot of the pith (white part).
  • I recommend a dilution to this cocktail because of how syrupy sloe gin is. Here’s how: Shake the cocktail shaker longer than usual. I recommend shaking vigorously for at least 30 seconds, which will micro-chip and melt the ice somewhat.
  • For most of my martini-style drinks, I place the glassware in the freezer at least 10 minutes before starting the cocktail. That’s because I like a well-chilled cocktail glass from which to enjoy my creation.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 240kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 63mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 21IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg
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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to food journalist, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.

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10 Comments

  1. What an absolute beautiful drink! The vibrant color and the apricot brandy is a winner. I can’t wait to make it again. This cocktail will be sure to be a hit for the holidays!

  2. This cocktail was a hit at our house! I just love the flavor the apricot brandy added, and that beautiful red color makes it perfect for the holiday season.

  3. This really is such an awesome combo, Elaine! Thanks for the recipe! It’s simple enough for someone like me who likes to get creative with drinks but sucks at mixology, haha. So tasty, and they’re pretty too!

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