This drink was named after the successful silent film star. Unlike most drinks, this drink appears to be created after his death rather than his peak popularity. Here is an early printing of this drink:
Southern living … annual recipes by Southern Living, Southern Living Editors – 1981
“Apricot flavored brandy, sloe gin, lime juice, shake with ice”
This may not have been the event that sparked the drink and it could be much older than this, although there is no specific literature suggest this drink is as old as the “Mary Pickford” and others of the silent film trend. There is now an annual “charlie chaplin” film festival and has been for years. The festival dates to at least 1938, where four short films were shown of chaplin shot in 1917. The film festival next year will be held in: “The inaugural Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film, Waterville Co. Kerry, Ireland in 2011”
This drinks ingredients have varied slightly over the years, but given the original ingredients of early printings of this drink, it is clear that the time frame surrounding it is correct. Apricot flavored brandy was around in chaplin’s time, however, it was not nearly as popular as it was in the late 1960’s through the 1970’s. It is also important to note that sloe gin was not popular in the U.S. until this time frame either, so it is extremely likely this drink was created during this time.
It is difficult to determine where this drink derived, chaplin was often seen in many scenes drinking or acting as if he was. Here is early literature supporting this:
Picturing Japaneseness: monumental style, national identity, … – Page 52 by Darrell William Davis in 1996
“In the spring of 1932, Charlie Chaplin arrived. Though it is hard to accuse Pickford, Fairbanks, and Chaplin of eroticism, their popularity was seen by … always of leg-shows, crime, wild parties, cocktail drinking, and vulgarity.”
This drink dates between 1968 – 1976 and contained at least as of then:
Shake these ingredients:
Fresh Lime Juice
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.