April is the time of year that is perfect for “shoulder season” cocktails, of which the Angel Face is definitely one. What makes a “shoulder season” cocktail, you ask? “Shoulder season” cocktails are moderate in “weight” and “depth.” By weight, we allude to the feel of the cocktail on one’s palate, the “heaviness,” so to speak. By depth, we allude to a cocktail’s level of unfolding complexity. If Winter cocktails are heavy, warming libations that evoke thoughtfulness in their deeply unfolding complexity, Summer season cocktails are light and refreshing, thirst-quenching and not necessarily thought-provoking.
The Angel Face is of moderate weight and complexity. The combination of Gin, Calvados and Apricot Brandy creates a mid-palate that one definitely feels, but also possesses a certain crispness, like the snap of a ripe apple. The moderate length also stirs one’s thoughts, without being completely evocative. The cocktail was originally mentioned in Harry Cradock’s tome The Savoy Cocktail Book of 1930, so for me, it has provenance.
My friends, I present The Angel Face Cocktail:
1-1/2 oz. London Dry Gin
1/2 oz. Apricot Brandy
1/2 oz. Calvados
Shake with crushed ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
If you are looking for something to either waltz you into Winter, or samba you into Summer, the Angel Face is for you!