Cocktail & Other Recipes Preparation Style Stirred

Angel’s Face

Angel's Face cocktail in a cocktail glass, garnished with an orange peel and served on a wooden table / Tim Nusog

Cocktails come in all shapes, sizes and styles, but most include one base spirit accented by liqueurs, fruit juices, fortified wines and other ingredients. Some, however, exert their strength with multiple base spirits, finding balance in two or more full-flavored liquors. That’s the case with the Angel’s Face, an original recipe from Brooklyn bartender Jay Zimmerman that combines gin and applejack, plus apricot liqueur.

Gin is a classic base ingredient that holds up everything from the straight-spirits Martini to the citrusy Gimlet, but rarely does it join forces with applejack. Applejack is a type of apple brandy that dates back to the late 1600s. American colonists in the Northeast turned their apple harvests into hard cider, eventually realizing they had the beginnings of something stronger. They increased the cider’s alcohol content by leaving barrels outside overnight to freeze. Known as “jacking,” this method allowed these clever colonists to separate the alcohol that didn’t freeze from the ice remaining in the barrels, resulting in a high-proof spirit they dubbed “applejack.”

Applejack is best known as an ingredient in the classic Jack Rose, but in the Angel’s Face it lends its trademark fruit notes to the botanical gin. Apricot liqueur brings additional fruit flavor and some sweetness to the cocktail. The ingredients are applied in equal parts, stirred with ice and garnished with an orange peel, so the drink is easy to create at home. You might not see an angel’s face with each sip, but it tastes heavenly just the same.


  • 1 ounce No. 3 gin

  • 1 ounce applejack

  • 1 ounce Luxardo apricot liqueur

  • Garnish: orange peel


  1. Add the gin, applejack and apricot liqueur into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a cocktail glass.

  3. Garnish with an orange peel.