It's a long story that I won't go into, but earlier this year, over the course of a week or so, I sampled more than 20 cocktails laden with apricot brandy. For some, a sip or two sufficed, while for others I'd finish the glass, but overall it was way too much apricot liqueur for one person to encounter in such a short period of time.
One would think--after my skin lost its orangey hue and my pillow no longer smelled of apricots--that I'd no longer be able to stand the idea of apricot brandy, and in some ways you'd be right. But while the Slope keeps me coming back to the magical interaction between rye whiskey, apricot brandy, and bitter vermouth, the Claridge keeps the stone fruit's appeal alive when it's mixed with gin and dry vermouth.
Achieving the right proportion of ingredients can be a little tricky to measure when mixing this drink for one, so it's best to find a friend and mix a round for the two of you. Light and crisp, with a subtle fruitiness, the Claridge has an incomparable elegance that keeps it in my regular rotation.
About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.
- 2 1/4 ounce gin
- 2 1/4 ounce dry vermouth
- 3/4 ounce apricot brandy
- 3/4 ounce Cointreau
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with cracked ice. Stir well for 20 seconds and strain into chilled cocktail glasses.