I considered writing the Charlie Chaplin up for Raiders of the Lost Cocktail. I decided not to in the end though. Partly I wanted to write up a drink that combined Lillet with apricot brandy, and partly I was not sure if the Charlie Chaplin qualifies as being ‘lost’. I have occasionally seen the Charlie Chaplin on bar menus. Still, the name of the drink is rather old worldly, as is the use of sloe gin, so I won’t argue with anyone who wants to label it a lost drink.
The one bar where I have drunk a Charlie Chaplin was a little Japanese place in Shanghai. This time the bar in question was not Constellation, but rather the little bar inside the Garcon Chinois restaurant on Hengshan Rd. That bar is much smaller than Constellation, and does not have nearly the same range of spirits, but the cocktails used to be very carefully and expertly made by a Japanese woman who knew exactly what she was doing. (more…)