Archangel

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Cocktail History

The Archangel is a modern classic cocktail that is based on the Pink Gin, a recipe that was created in England sometime in the mid-1800s. Traditionally made with just London Dry Gin and Angostura bitters, the original was made more palatable for this century’s imbibers by Michael McIlroy and Richard Boccato of NYC’s Milk & Honey by swapping out the bitters for Aperol and adding a hint of cucumber.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

London Dry Gin: This is the base spirit. We used Broker’s Premium London Dry Gin. If you’ve yet to hear about Broker’s Gin, theirs is a no-frills true London Dry Gin made in a 200-year-old distillery in England using the same recipe their forefathers did all those years ago. We picked up a bottle last year, and it’s since become a staple at our home bar because it’s high proof and versatile—perfect for any cocktail when you want the distinct flavor of juniper while allowing other flavors to shine.

Aperol: This is a bitter Italian apéritif. It adds notes of gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona.

Cucumber: This is muddled in the mixing glass to add fresh cucumber flavor.

Lemon Twist: This is the garnish. It adds fresh lemon aroma and flavor.

Tasting Notes

The Archangel begins with a cool aroma of cucumber accented with a bit of citrus from the Aperol, and it tastes initially of Aperol bitter-sweetness punctuated by the peppery notes of the gin, all with a slight cucumber coolness that chases the bitterness down the throat.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: Although very simple, we both thought the Archangel was deceptively complex. Alex, who already loves dry martinis, thought the Aperol gave it a unique spin. And Kendall, who can’t quite palate them yet, thought the extra flavors offered here were the perfect gateway to getting her into them.

Alex’s Take: “Wow, what an interesting drink. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from a literally two-ingredient cocktail, but it works fairly well. The London Dry Gin doesn’t lose any of its nuance, the Aperol simultaneously gives the cocktail its sweetness and its bitterness, and the cucumber hangs out in the very back to give you a little bit of aroma and aftertaste to take off the burn. This is a strong drink, especially since Broker’s Gin is 94 proof, so it rivals my martini spec in its potency, but it’s definitely a very different drink.”

Kendall’s Take: “My palate has not yet developed to the point where I enjoy a dry gin martini. That being said, I can see sipping on an Archangel enough times getting me there. For how bitter I thought it sounded, it’s really not. The cucumber is a surprisingly powerful addition to this drink that tones the bitter notes down just enough for the drink to be enjoyable to someone like me. I’ll definitely be ordering this one when I’m feeling bold or when I want to play around with gin flavors.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from The Essential Cocktail Book: A Complete Guide to Modern Drinks by the editors of PUNCH and Megan Krigbaum.

AuthorThe Essential Cocktail BookPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 ¼ oz London Dry Gin
 ¾ oz Aperol
 2 Slices Cucumber
 1 Lemon Twist

Method
1

Add cucumber slices to a mixing glass.

2

Muddle gently.

3

Add gin, Aperol, and ice.

4

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

5

Strain into a champagne glass.

6

Garnish with lemon twist.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 ¼ oz London Dry Gin
 ¾ oz Aperol
 2 Slices Cucumber
 1 Lemon Twist

Directions

Method
1

Add cucumber slices to a mixing glass.

2

Muddle gently.

3

Add gin, Aperol, and ice.

4

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

5

Strain into a champagne glass.

6

Garnish with lemon twist.

Archangel

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More Aperol Cocktails

If you like this Aperol cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Paper Plane: A bourbon cocktail made with Aperol, Amaro Nonino Quintessentia, lemon juice, and a lemon peel

Garden City Sling: A gin cocktail made with cherry liqueur, triple sec, Aperol, Bénédictine, pineapple gum syrup, lime juice, an orange wedge, and a cherry

Kuzcotopia: A pisco cocktail made with Aperol, passion fruit syrup, grapefruit juice, lime juice, Tres Amigos bitters, and a lime slice

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