Angel Face

Angel Face

This series highlights the International Bartenders Association (IBA) The Unforgettables cocktails. I have decided to work my way through this series of cocktails to investigate the classics as I teach myself mixology and build out my home bar.

This is one of those cocktails I have never heard of. As I perused the recipe, I began to think this would be a cocktail I would enjoy. Well, the other day I picked up the apricot brandy and the Calvados.

I came home and mixed this drink. Because there is no citrus, I stirred this. As I drank the cocktail I had mixed thoughts. I liked it, but it seemed unbalanced somehow. I couldn’t put my finger on what was off.

I could taste the gin, but it really is only there for the booze. Neither the Calvados and the apricot brandy should be off, but something wasn’t quite right.

I began reading to see if perhaps other had a different ratio that would fix this. That is when I discovered this was to be shaken, not stirred. Hmmm . . .

Cocktails like this are stirred, but the IBA recipe and others state this is to be shaken as per Harry Craddock stated in his 1930 recipe, which is the first time this was published.

The second time I made this, I used the Boston shaker. You know what? This actually tasted better. I don’t have an explanation. Same recipe, but it wasn’t quite as sharp as it was when stirred. Perhaps the first cocktail numbed me enough, but I suspect the shaken, not stirred mantra of this cocktail actually made a difference. I can’t explain why, but it is.

In the end, it isn’t quite the stunning cocktail I had anticipated, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with this cocktail. It is sweet! Even though IBA does not call for a garnish, I think a crispy apple slice would complement this well.

Angel Face

Angel Face

Recipe by Robert OwensCourse: Miscellaneous


Prep time


Cooking timeminutes

IBA recipe


  • 30 ml Gin

  • 30 ml Apricot Brandy

  • 30 ml Calvados


  • Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes.
  • Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


  • Shake, do not stir

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