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What is a Charlie Chaplin cocktail and how do you make it?

Named after the silent movie superstar with his funny moustache, twirling cane and oversized shoes, the Charlie Chaplin cocktail is the perfect balance of sweet, sour and fruity drink. Here’s how you make one.

Famous for his self-created character—the Tramp—and for bringing drama and nuance to slapstick comedy, Charlie Chaplin was a powerhouse of Hollywood for most of the early 20th Century.

Chaplin's eponymous cocktail was invented in 1920 at the bar of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

It was also included in Albert Stevens Crockett’s 1935 edition of The Old Waldorf Astoria Bar Book—page 44 in fact.

It's a simple enough cocktail to make. The original calls for equal parts sloe gin, lemon juice and apricot brandy, shaken over ice and strained into a cocktail glass.

But here at Nip of Courage, we like to change things up a bit and add a bit of Aussie craft!

Charlie Chaplin Cocktail Recipe

- 30ml lime juice

- 20ml peach liqueur

1. Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake thoroughly until the sides of the shaker are frosty.

2. Double strain into a coupe glass to remove all lime pulp and garnish with a sliver of citrus peel of your choice.

The ripe, rich Sangiovese grapes from Naught’s gin add more body and texture to the drink than a sloe gin would, and it gives lovely strawberry notes too.

Instead of just using apricot brandy, we’ve gone with peach liqueur for a bit more sweetness. Using 23rd Street Distillery’s superb brandy gives that oaky sweetness and length you want in this complex yet very fresh cocktail.

The Charlie Chaplin is in fact owner-distiller of Naught Distillery, Chris Cameron’s favourite way to drink his Sangiovese Gin, so we should thank him for inspiring this recipe here.

But that’s how you Aussie-up a classic cocktail.

As for Chaplin himself, he was born in South London, so there’s no real Aussie connection there. But his older half brother and business manager was called Sydney, so that’s a start, right?


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