There are many classic cocktail recipes everybody knows. Just look at the Dry Martini, Negroni, or Old Fashioned. But some of the classics are less popular and unknown to the broad mass. One of them is the Paradise cocktail. What sounds and looks like an invention from the 70s or 80s is, in fact, a drink that's way older, developed by one of the masters of this craft - Harry Craddock.
To make this fruity cocktail, you won't need a lot of ingredients. The recipe for a Paradise is amongst the easiest of Gin cocktails. But it still is a brilliant example of how to balance a drink. The aromatic notes from the botanicals and herbs in the Gin, the sweetness of Apricot Brandy, and the freshness of hand-squeezed orange juice work so well together. It might not be the best drink for people preferring dry cocktails, but it's a perfect fit for all those who prefer an easy-to-drink, unpretentious cocktail.
Learn more about this drink - and also about why one absolutely has to mention Snoop Dogg when talking about the Paradise cocktail.
History of the Paradise cocktail
Invented by Harry Craddock, one of the most famous bartenders of his time, the Paradise cocktail truly is a cocktail classic. He also published a recipe for this fruity Gin cocktail in his book: The Savoy Cocktail Book (released in 1930).
In this recipe, Craddock used the three ingredients of Gin, Apricot Brandy, and orange juice in 2:1:1 ratios. And even though you will come across various recipes with adjusted ratios, the original one still works perfectly fine. -The only thing I recommend to add to round off the original formula is a dash or two of orange cocktail bitters
Later, only two years after being published in Craddock's book, the drink played a vital part in the movie "One Way Passage". In the romantic film, the main characters, Dan Hardesty and Joan Ames, have some sort of signature move. The couple first shares a Paradise cocktail, then they break the bowls of their glasses and leave the stems crossed on the bar counter. A pretty dramatic way to market a cocktail, I think.
In recent times, the US rapper Snoop Dogg contributed to the history of the cocktail. On May 27th 2018, he set a new world record for the largest "Gin and juice". He mixed a 500-liter version of a Paradise cocktail consisting of 180 bottles of Gin, 154 bottles of Apricot brandy, and 144 liters of orange juice..
The Ingredients of the cocktail
For me, the most intriguing part of this drink is that it seriously highlights your choice of Apricot Brandy. In other Gin cocktails, it often depends on which type of Gin you choose, but here the Gin is just a way to complement the star of the drink. And in saying that, it's vital to make a Paradise cocktail with quality and not too sweet Apricot Brandy. You may want to select one that's rather off-dry than actually sweet.
And because Brandy is the main act of the drink, you should go with a classic and non-dominant Gin. Most classic dry Gins will do the trick, even entry-level ones like a Bombay Sapphire.
With the orange juice, you want to bring in some freshness to the cocktail. Therefore, you should always use freshly squeezed juice from ripe oranges. We probably all know the difference between fresh juices and bottled ones, so better don't even consider the bottled version. It won't do the drink justice, and you possibly won't enjoy it as much as you could. - Some of you already know how particular I am about fresh juices.
- 1.5 oz Dry Gin
- 0.75 oz Apricot Brandy
- 0.75 oz Freshly squeezed orange juice
- Pour all ingredients into your cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.1.5 oz Dry Gin, 0.75 oz Apricot Brandy, 0.75 oz Freshly squeezed orange juice
- Shake until the drink is well-chilled.
- Strain into a chilled Martini glass.