No, I haven’t suddenly switched from a food blog to a blog about airplanes. Believe it or not the Pan American Clipper is not only an airplane, it’s also this week’s cocktail, and I chose it for two reasons. First it’s made with Applejack, and since we’re right in the middle of Fall when apples are being harvested from orchards everywhere, it seemed like a good choice. The second reason I thought it would make a good cocktail was because of the name.
See, a Pan American Clipper was the way Americans (who could afford it) flew during WWII. It was luxury at its height. There were tables and chairs, dressing rooms and even beds. It was glorious. So, a cocktail was created in the late 30’s to commemorate the adventure. Then Charles H. Baker placed it in his cocktail book, The Gentleman’s Companion. Though I’m not sure who created the cocktail originally, Baker said that it came from “the Notebook of One of Our Pilot Friends Who—when Off Duty—May Seek One”. And after tasting the cocktail, I can see why a pilot might want one. It’s definitely one of the stronger cocktails out there.
Similar to the Jack Rose, this cocktail has Applejack which gives it a nice autumn, apple flavor, Grenadine and citrus juice. But it also has absinthe which gives it a wonderful herbaceousness that just seems to fit with this cool, Fall season. While it’s a minor, almost afterthought of taste, it’s there and it’s enough to make me and probably anyone else who tastes it, smile.
Pan American Clipper
- 1-1/2 oz. Applejack
- 3/4 oz. lime juice
- 1/4 oz. Grenadine
- dash of Absinthe
- Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for a minute. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve.