Archangel is a refreshing sipper, something that will definitely surprise you. You need a very good gin for this one since it will shine very brightly in this cocktail.
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What is the Archangel ?
Archangel is a gin-based cocktail that seems to be a spin on the old Pink Gin (gin and orange bitters). The Archangel we know was concocted by Michael McIlroy and Richard Boccato, and it’s definitely easier to enjoy than the Pink Gin. Archangel blends gin’s botanicals with cucumber, a pairing that works far better than anyone could’ve expected. On top of that, the orange aperitif is what rounds off the drink.
- 2.5 oz gin
- 0.75 oz orange aperitif
- 2 cucumber slices
- In a shaker add gin, orange aperitif, cucumber slices, ice. Stir 20-30 seconds.
- Strain into coupe glass.
- Trust the recipe, cucumber goes surprisingly well with gin.
- Express a bit of lemon or orange on top if you'd like more flavor.
- If you decide to shake, be gentle, and double-strain so you don't have bits of cucumber in the coupe.
When is this drink best ?
The Archangel works best as an appetizer, I believe. Maybe it’s the cucumber in it, maybe it’s the botanicals in the gin, maybe it’s both. But i think this works great as a pre-dinner drink, and also as a lighter-tasting drink if you don’t want something with a very strong flavor. The cucumber is just enough to be refreshing without reminding you of a salad.
I’m also getting some early warm season vibes, so this might work especially well when the weather warms up and you start seeing nature come back to life.
My thoughts on Archangel
Archangel was surprisingly good ! The botanicals in the gin paired really well with the cucumber, something I did not expect. The orange aperitif rounds everything off. Not a sweet cocktail at all, and definitely a sipper. But it’s surprisingly refreshing and something to impress guests with; it’s so simple but so damn good !
Be warned though, this is mostly gin, and it can be very easy to underestimate. The cucumber really tames the peppery, sharp notes in gin but the alcohol is still there.
If you like Archangel, you might also like…
Mainbrace – gin and triple sec, with grapefruit juice to tie it all together.
Notes, substitutes, and tips
The recipe calls for orange aperitif, and some like to use Campari. I don’t live overly bitter drinks, so I used a sweet orange aperitif. It’s still bitter, but not nearly as much as Campari. if you use Campari you’ll end up with a stronger red tone in the drink.
The cucumber isn’t meant to be smushed to pieces, be gentle with it. Muddle or shake it just enough to release some of its juice. More of a bruise than a mash.
Make sure you use a very good gin, one you like. Normally I don’t like gin since