Angel Face: Easy 3-Ingredient Cocktail [The Ultimate Recipe]

What is an Angel Face?

The Angel Face (Angel’s Face) cocktail is a classic drink blending gin, apricot liqueur, and apple liqueur in equal parts, traditionally served in a martini glass.

Known for its smooth texture and layered flavors, this cocktail balances botanical gin notes with the sweetness of fruit liqueurs. Its visual appeal lies in its clear, golden color, sometimes garnished with a lemon twist.

Popular for its versatility, the Angel Face suits various occasions and pairs well with light seafood or creamy cheeses. Its enduring appeal stems from a perfect mix of elegance and flavor, making it a timeless choice for cocktail enthusiasts.

Ingredients of Angel Face Cocktail

The Angel Face cocktail features gin, apricot liqueur, and apple liqueur in equal parts. Specifically, each ingredient measures 60 ml (approximately 2 oz). This combination creates a unique balance, where the botanicals of gin meet the sweet and fruity notes of apricot and apple liqueurs. It’s a recipe that appeals to those who appreciate a cocktail with depth and layered flavors.

  • Gin: 60 ml (2 oz) – forms the base with its distinct botanical flavors.
  • Apricot Liqueur: 60 ml (2 oz) – adds a sweet, fruity undertone.
  • Apple Liqueur: 60 ml (2 oz) – complements with a crisp, fresh flavor.

Ingredient Substitutes for Angel Face Cocktail

Substituting ingredients in the Angel Face cocktail can offer a new twist while maintaining its essence. Instead of gin, try vodka for a smoother profile. For apricot liqueur, a peach schnapps can substitute, offering a similar fruity sweetness but with a peachy note. If apple liqueur is unavailable, consider apple brandy or even a mild pear liqueur for a similar orchard fruit flavor. These substitutions allow for personalization while honoring the cocktail’s spirit.

  • Gin Substitute: Vodka for a smoother, less botanical taste.
  • Apricot Liqueur Substitute: Peach schnapps for a peachy sweetness.
  • Apple Liqueur Substitute: Apple brandy or pear liqueur for similar fruitiness.

Ingredient Proportions for Angel Face Cocktail

The Angel Face cocktail is traditionally made with equal parts of its three key ingredients: gin, apricot liqueur, and apple liqueur. The classic ratio is 1:1:1, translating to 60 ml (or 2 oz) of each. This proportion creates a harmonious balance of flavors, ensuring that no single ingredient overpowers the others.

While this is the standard, the recipe is flexible and can be adjusted to suit individual palates. Whether you prefer a stronger gin presence or a sweeter touch from the liqueurs, feel free to modify the quantities to your taste.

  • Standard Ratio: 1:1:1 – 60 ml (2 oz) each of gin, apricot liqueur, and apple liqueur.
  • Adjustable to Taste: Modify the proportions to cater to personal flavor preferences.

Best Ingredients for Angel Face Cocktail

The original recipe calls for apricot and apple brandy (calvados), which bring distinct brandy undertones. However, the modern take often uses apple and apricot liqueurs for a smoother, sweeter profile.

Selecting a gin with botanical or fruit notes enhances the overall flavor.

Choosing high-quality ingredients is key to crafting a remarkable Angel Face cocktail. Premium ingredients elevate the cocktail, making each sip a refined experience. While specific brands are not the focus, opting for ingredients that are known for their purity and flavor depth is essential.

  • Original Recipe: Apple and apricot brandy for authenticity.
  • Modern Variation: Apple and apricot liqueurs for a smoother taste.
  • Gin Selection: Choose one with a balanced botanical or fruit blend.

Flavor Profile of Angel Face Cocktail

The Angel Face cocktail offers a complex and intriguing flavor profile. The gin provides a crisp, botanical base, layered with the sweet and fruity notes of apricot and apple liqueurs. This combination results in a cocktail that’s both refreshing and rich in taste.

The drinkability of the Angel Face is high, appealing to those who enjoy a cocktail that’s flavorful without being overly sweet or strong. Each sip reveals different nuances, making it a delightful experience for the palate.

  • Tasting Notes: Botanical from gin, sweet and fruity from apricot and apple liqueurs.
  • Drinkability: High, with a well-balanced, not too sweet or strong profile.

Each sip offers a layered and nuanced flavor exploration.

Tools & Equipment for Angel Face Cocktail

Creating an Angel Face cocktail requires a few essential bar tools to ensure a perfectly mixed drink. You’ll need a cocktail shaker to thoroughly blend the ingredients and chill the mixture. A jigger or measuring cup is crucial for accurate measurement of the gin, apricot liqueur, and apple liqueur, ensuring the ideal balance of flavors. A strainer is handy when transferring the cocktail from the shaker to the glass, leaving behind any unwanted ice shards. Lastly, a martini glass is the traditional choice for serving this elegant cocktail, showcasing its clarity and color.

  • Cocktail Shaker: For mixing and chilling the ingredients.
  • Jigger/Measuring Cup: For precise ingredient measurements.
  • Strainer: To filter out ice and impurities.
  • Martini Glass: Classic choice for serving.

Instructions for Preparation of Angel Face Cocktail

This is how you can make an Angel Face cocktail in 5 steps:

  • Step 1: Measure 60 ml (2 oz) each of gin, apricot liqueur, and apple liqueur using a jigger. This ensures the perfect balance of flavors.
  • Step 2: Pour these ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. The ice cools the drink and slightly dilutes it, softening the alcohol’s sharpness.
  • Step 3: Shake the mixture vigorously for about 10-15 seconds. This integrates the ingredients well and brings the cocktail to an ideal chilled temperature.
  • Step 4: Strain the cocktail into a martini glass using a strainer. This step removes the ice and any larger impurities, if any, ensuring a smooth drink.
  • Step 5: Optionally, you can garnish the drink with a twist of lemon peel or an apple slice to add an aromatic touch and enhance the visual appeal.

Stir or Shake: Angel Face Cocktail

When preparing an Angel Face cocktail, shaking is the recommended method. Shaking not only chills the drink rapidly but also introduces a slight dilution, which is essential for balancing the strong flavors of gin, apricot liqueur, and apple liqueur. A vigorous shake ensures that the botanical notes of the gin blend seamlessly with the sweet and fruity notes of the liqueurs, creating a smooth and well-integrated cocktail.

  • Recommended Method: Shaking.
  • Benefits: Rapid chilling, slight dilution, and thorough integration of flavors.

Ice: Chilling & Dilution for Angel Face Cocktail

The right approach to ice is crucial for the Angel Face cocktail. Use high-quality ice, preferably large cubes or spheres, as they melt slower, reducing over-dilution. Pre-chilling the serving glass is a pro tip that keeps the cocktail colder for longer. Fill the cocktail shaker about halfway with ice to achieve the perfect balance of chilling and dilution without watering down the drink’s distinctive flavors.

  • Ice Type: Large cubes or spheres for slower melting.
  • Pre-Chilling Glass: Enhances the drinking experience.
  • Amount of Ice: Halfway in the shaker for optimal chilling and dilution.

Scaling Angel Face Cocktail for a Group

To serve the Angel Face cocktail to a group, maintain the ratio of 1:1:1 for gin, apricot liqueur, and apple liqueur. Multiply the quantities by the number of guests. For example, for a party of five, use 300 ml (10 oz) of each ingredient. Mix the cocktail in a larger pitcher or container, stir well, cover with a lid, and place into fridge. Just before serving, the mix needs to be stirred thoroughly once again. If you do so, there is no need to shake the cocktail, because it will have already been mixed and chilled.

  • Ratio Maintenance: 1:1:1 for each ingredient.
  • Scaling Up: Multiply quantities based on guest count.
  • Storing Method: Use a pitcher or large container.
  • Mixing Method: Stir well in pitcher and before serving.

Troubleshooting Common Mistakes in Making Angel Face Cocktail

The biggest mistakes in making an Angel Face cocktail include over-dilution, incorrect ingredient ratios, and serving in a warm glass. To avoid these, use the right amount of high-quality ice and stick to the recommended 1:1:1 ratio of gin, apricot liqueur, and apple liqueur. Also, ensure the serving glass is pre-chilled. Keeping these points in mind will help you create a flawless Angel Face cocktail every time.

  • Avoid Over-Dilution: Use the correct amount of ice.
  • Maintain Ingredient Ratios: Stick to the 1:1:1 proportion.
  • Pre-Chill Glasses: Ensures the cocktail remains cold.

Presentation of Angel Face Cocktail


The classic choice for serving an Angel Face cocktail is a martini glass. Its iconic shape not only adds to the aesthetic appeal but also allows the aromas of the cocktail to be enjoyed fully.

For a different look, consider a coupe glass, which offers a similar sensory experience with a more contemporary look. A Nick & Nora glass can also be an elegant alternative, providing a vintage feel.

  • Classic Glassware: Martini glass for a traditional presentation.
  • Alternative Twist: Coupe glass for a contemporary style.
  • Vintage Feel: Nick & Nora glass for an elegant, old-school touch.


A classic garnish for the Angel Face cocktail is a twist of lemon peel. This not only adds a citrusy aroma but also complements the botanical notes of the gin and the sweetness of the liqueurs.

For a creative twist, consider an apple slice or an apricot wedge to visually represent the fruit liqueurs in the drink. Edible flowers or a sprig of thyme can also add a touch of elegance and a subtle herbal note.

  • Classic Garnish: Lemon peel for a traditional citrus aroma.
  • Creative Garnishes:
    • Apple slice or apricot wedge for a fruity touch.
    • Edible flowers or thyme sprig for elegance and a hint of herbs.

Variations & Riffs: Cocktails Similar to Angel Face Cocktail

Exploring variations and riffs on the Angel Face cocktail introduces you to a world of similar but uniquely different drinks. Each of these cocktails shares some characteristics with the Angel Face but brings its own twist to the table.

  1. Aviation Cocktail: Similar in its use of gin and fruit flavors, the Aviation includes maraschino liqueur and lemon juice, offering a tart contrast to the Angel Face’s sweetness.
  2. French Martini: While not gin-based, the French Martini’s use of fruit liqueurs (like raspberry) and its smooth, rich flavor profile make it a relative to the Angel Face.
  3. Sidecar: Traditionally made with brandy, the Sidecar shares the Angel Face’s balance of strong spirit with sweet and citrus notes, though it leans more towards a tart profile.
  4. Bramble Cocktail: A gin-based cocktail like the Angel Face, the Bramble includes blackberry liqueur and lemon juice, offering a fruity and tart experience.
  5. Clover Club: This gin-based cocktail includes raspberry syrup and lemon juice, providing a fruit-forward and slightly tart flavor profile.
  6. Golden Dream: This dessert cocktail, made with Galliano and orange juice, shares the Angel Face’s sweet and smooth characteristics.
  7. Negroni: A classic gin cocktail, the Negroni’s bittersweet profile is a contrast to the Angel Face but remains a favorite among gin aficionados.
  8. Corpse Reviver #2: Another gin-based classic, this cocktail combines Lillet Blanc, orange liqueur, and lemon juice, offering a complex and citrusy profile.
  9. Apple Martini (Appletini): A sweeter, more modern take with a strong apple presence, reminiscent of the Angel Face’s fruit components.
  10. Peach Bellini: Though traditionally a non-gin cocktail, its use of peach purée echoes the fruity sweetness of the Angel Face’s apricot liqueur.

Experiment: Create Your Own Riff on Angel Face Cocktail

Creating your own riff on the Angel Face cocktail is an exciting way to experiment with flavors and personalize your drink. Start by considering the key components of the classic recipe: gin, apricot liqueur, and apple liqueur. You can vary these elements while maintaining the cocktail’s spirit.

For instance, swapping gin for a different spirit like whiskey or rum can add a new depth. Similarly, experimenting with different fruit liqueurs or syrups, like cherry or pear, can offer a fresh twist. Even adjusting the proportions of the original ingredients can result in a unique flavor profile.

Remember, the essence of a great cocktail riff lies in balancing the new flavors while paying homage to the original’s character.

  • Spirit Variation: Try whiskey or rum instead of gin for depth.
  • Fruit Liqueur/Syrup Changes: Experiment with cherry, pear, or other fruit flavors.
  • Proportion Adjustments: Alter the balance for a personalized taste.
  • Balanced Experimentation: Aim to maintain a harmonious flavor while adding personal touches.

Serving Occasions for Angel Face Cocktail

The Angel Face cocktail, with its elegant balance of gin and fruit liqueurs, is perfect for various occasions.

Its sophisticated flavor profile makes it ideal for formal events like dinner parties or cocktail hours. The cocktail’s refreshing and not overly sweet taste also suits more casual gatherings, such as summer barbecues or intimate get-togethers. Its versatility extends to celebratory moments, where its refined presentation adds a touch of class. Whether it’s a quiet evening at home or a festive occasion, the Angel Face cocktail elevates the experience with its delightful blend of flavors.

  • Formal Events: Dinner parties, cocktail hours.
  • Casual Gatherings: Summer barbecues, small get-togethers.
  • Celebratory Occasions: Adds elegance to celebrations.
  • Versatile Drink: Suitable for various settings and moods.

Food Pairings for Angel Face Cocktail

Pairing food with the Angel Face cocktail can enhance both the drink and the dining experience.

The cocktail’s botanical gin notes and sweet fruit liqueurs complement a wide range of dishes. Seafood, particularly lighter fare like shrimp or scallops, pairs beautifully with its crisp profile. The sweet and fruity undertones of the drink also match well with spicy Asian cuisine, balancing the heat. For cheese pairings, opt for creamy cheeses like brie or goat cheese, which contrast nicely with the cocktail’s complexity. When serving with dessert, choose fruit-based options like tarts or sorbets to echo the cocktail’s fruity flavors.

  • Seafood: Light fare like shrimp, scallops.
  • Spicy Cuisine: Asian dishes with a bit of heat.
  • Cheese Pairings: Creamy varieties like brie or goat cheese.
  • Desserts: Fruit-based like tarts, sorbets.

Why is the cocktail called an Angel Face?

The Angel Face cocktail, first documented in Harry Craddock’s 1930 “Savoy Cocktail Book,” likely got its name during the Prohibition era. It is thought to be named after Abe “Angel Face” Kaminsky, a Detroit mobster known for his deceptive appearance, symbolizing the cocktail’s sweet yet potent nature.

Alternatively, it may represent someone innocent-looking but mischievous, akin to the drink’s characteristics, hinting at the deceptive strength of the cocktail. The Angel Face appears delicate and sweet, but the combination of gin and fruit liqueurs packs a potent punch, much like the dichotomy of an angel’s ethereal beauty with their powerful presence.

This name captures the essence of the cocktail — a blend of delicate flavors with an underlying strength.

Angel Face Cocktail

Angel Face - Cocktail Recipe

The Angel Face cocktail, a timeless classic, captivates with its smooth texture and golden color, combining gin and fruit liqueurs for a balanced, elegant flavor. Served in a martini glass and often garnished with a lemon twist, this cocktail is perfect for various occasions, pairing splendidly with light seafood or creamy cheeses, and remains a popular choice for its refined taste and historical charm.
Total Time 5 minutes
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  • 1 Cocktail shaker
  • 1 Measuring jigger
  • 1 Strainer
  • 1 Martini glass


  • 2 oz Gin
  • 2 oz Apricot liqueur (or apricot brandy)
  • 2 oz Apple liqueur (or apple brandy like Calvados)
  • 1 piece Lemon peel (optional - for garnish)


  • Measure Ingredients: Pour gin, apricot liqueur and apple liqueur into a cocktail shaker.
  • Add Ice: Add ice to the shaker, filling it halfway.
  • Shake: Secure the lid and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
  • Strain: Use a strainer to pour the cocktail into a martini glass.
  • Garnish: Optionally, add a twist of lemon peel or an apple slice for garnish.
  • Serve: Present the cocktail immediately for optimal taste and temperature.


Calories: 393kcalSodium: 2mgPotassium: 3mgIron: 0.1mg
Calories: 393kcal
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktail
Keyword: apple liqueur, apricot liqueur, brandy, Cognac, gin
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