This classic is perfect for celebrating the August 21st solar eclipse
The US will experience a total eclipse of the sun this month – the first one to completely cross the lower 48 states since 1918.
We’re lucky enough to live near the path of eclipse totality (where the sun is completely covered), so we’re gearing up! Of course, that includes laying in the makings for The Eclipse Cocktail.
It’s not every day you get an eclipse, so drink up!
Recipe: The Eclipse Cocktail
This cocktail was created by famed bartender Harry Craddock to celebrate the 1927 total solar eclipse in Britain. Craddock first published the recipe in his 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book.
Craddock’s recipe calls for sloe gin, dry gin, and grenadine. Later versions include lemon juice – an excellent addition, in our opinion. You can find other recipes for Eclipse Cocktails (many call for tequila), but we think this is the best.
Craddock’s original recipe garnishes this drink with an olive. We don’t think that flavor works, so we substitute a maraschino cherry. It tastes better and looks, well, sunnier.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and serves one.
- 2 ounces sloe gin (see Notes)
- 1 ounce dry gin
- ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grenadine (preferably Homemade)
- maraschino cherry for garnish (optional, but looks great)
- Place the sloe gin, dry gin, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake until chilled (about 20 seconds).
- Place the maraschino cherry garnish (if using) in the bottom of a cocktail glass (preferably one that’s been chilled). Pour the grenadine over the cherry. Slowly strain the contents of the shaker on top of the cherry/grenadine layer. (You’re trying to layer the gin mixture over the grenadine, as you would in a layered shot. It sometimes helps to pour the gin mixture over the back of a spoon. You can see layering in some of the pictures accompanying this post.) Don’t worry if you mess up the layering – we usually do, but the drink still tastes good. See Notes.
- Serve and enjoy.
- The original recipe calls for completely covering the garnish with grenadine. We think that makes the drink too sweet, though, since it requires you to use about half an ounce (depending on the size of the garnish). We cut the grenadine back to 2 teaspoons, and think that’s perfect.
- It’s fun to layer the gin mixture over the grenadine, but it can also be a pain. So when we’re serving this drink to a crowd, we just pour the grenadine into the cocktail shaker with the other ingredients, and forget about trying to layer it.
- A dash or two of orange bitters works nicely in this drink. Give it a try.
- For this recipe, we used the Bitter Truth brand of sloe gin. Plymouth makes a good one too. We’ve also seen Hayman’s sloe gin, but haven’t tried it. Avoid the stuff that costs $10 to $15 a bottle – its flavor isn’t good and it’s way too sweet.
- BTW, sloe gin tends to be somewhat low in alcohol content. So if you’re not going to use the bottle within a few months, store it in the refrigerator (to prevent the flavor and quality from deteriorating).
- Our usual disclaimer: We’re totally noncommercial and don’t get compensated for mentioning any brand. We suggest only what we like and buy with our own money.
- As noted above, there’s an Eclipse Cocktail made with tequila. If you want to make it, here’s how: Add 1 ounce añejo tequila, ¾ ounce Cherry Heering, ¾ ounce Aperol, and ¾ ounce lemon juice to an ice-filled shaker. Shake until chilled, then strain into a cocktail glass. Add a float of ¼ ounce Mezcal, and serve.
- In the US, the August 21 solar eclipse will start in Oregon at 9:05 AM Pacific Daylight Time (12:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time) and end in Charleston, South Carolina at 2:48 PM Eastern Daylight Time.
- The eclipse will travel across the US in a path 70 miles wide, crossing the states of Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
- During the eclipse, the moon (as seen from Earth) will move in front of the sun (again, as seen from Earth) and cover it. You’ll see the full eclipse only if you’re in that 70-mile wide path. If you’re at the edge of the path, the moon may obscure the sun only partially (or for only a few seconds). If you’re in the middle of the path, the eclipse will last longer.
- Among the places with the longest eclipse duration will be in Carbondale, Illinois, where the sun will be completely covered by the moon for two minutes, 40 seconds. Carbondale is getting a twofer this century, BTW. In 2024, they will be smack in the middle of another total solar eclipse path.
- Want to know more about the eclipse, and where to view it? There are numerous web sites with info. NASA has a particularly informative one. Don’t miss their interactive map, which tells you the duration of the eclipse as viewed from locations you can enter into the map.
- BTW, we recommend getting some inexpensive “eclipse glasses” for viewing the event. These help protect your eyes from sun damage. Find more info on NASA’s Eclipse Safety Site.
Darkness at Noon
“Mmm, dazzling flavor,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Sort of . . . sunny.”
“Yup, you might call this drink a sun belt,” I said.
“Good one. You’re shining bright, pun boy,” said Mrs K R. “Guess that’s why your mother called you sonny.”
I put on my brand-new eclipse safety glasses and said, “Hey, I can’t see a thing with these on!”
“You’re not supposed to indoors,” said Mrs K R. “Go outside and find a place in the sun, then look up – you’ll see how useful they are.”
“Got it,” I said. “Guess that wasn’t too bright, was it?”
“For you?” said Mrs K R. “Well, let’s just say there’s nothing new under the sun.”
Right. Nothing I say can eclipse that.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Sloe Gin Fizz
Harvest Moon Cocktail
Blue Moon Cocktail
Golden Dawn Cocktail
Or check out the index for more
Good morning, John:)
What a wonderful drink to celebrate the arrival of the Eclipse of the Sun. My daughter, who is visiting here in PA, is not as excited as some. Since she lives in Idaho, they are expecting something like 500K people to "visit" her little town of Blackfoot.
I do remember an Eclipse when I was a child and those funny sun glasses we made at home. It's going to be fun to celebrate while toasting with this classic cocktail! Thanks for sharing, John...Enjoy...
Hi Louise, Idaho is supposed to be a great place to view the eclipse! Can't wait for the eclipse -- it's going to be fun. :-) Thanks for the comment.
What a gorgeous ruby color... perfect to celebrate life!!!!
Cheers to Eclipse! I have never experienced one...lucky you, John!
Hi Denise, that color is outrageous, isn't it? Love it! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Angie, we're looking forward to it! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Are you planning a trip to Carbondale? Or will you just settle for the few seconds of totality that will happen in St.Louis county while calmly sipping that imaginative cocktail?
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
Sounds fun but I'm with you...I cannot not imagine this sweet cocktail with an olive!
Hi Mae, the spot we've picked out will get us about a minute and half of totality. Just a bit over a 30 minute drive -- not bad at all. Thanks for the comment.
Hi Barb, the olive is just wrong! Thanks for the comment.
I just googled to see if the eclipse would be visible here in PHX and apparently it's only going to look like a partial here. So disappointing! I'm going to need a double batch of this gorgeous drink to make up for it :). It sounds so delish!
Hi Kelsie, that is disappointing! But there will be plenty of pictures of it on the interwebs, I'm sure. In the meantime, making a double batch of this is a great idea! Thanks for the comment.
Love that you created this cocktail. I am super excited for the eclipse and need to get some of those glasses.
Well the eclipse does sound fascinating but I think this drink sounds better. I'll take the tequila version please! Sunnyside up!
The pitch-perfect beverage to celebrate the eclipse! I will have to prepare and drink it!
We'll miss this eclipse here in California but I sure could use your drink, Prost!
Hi Laura, those glasses are fun. Dorky, but fun. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Abbe, sunnyside up coming up! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Agness, you do, you do. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Gerlinde, sorry you'll be missing it, but one of these will make you feel better. :-) Thanks for the comment.
With homemade grenadine and fresh lemon juice I'm sure this drink would be good anytime! Thanks for sharing another classic John!
Oh delicious, lot sof gin in here. I approve! Where I am we are in the up to 40% visibility only. But now I have the Bonnie Tyler song in my head lol!
Hi Deb, we don't often have sloe gin around the house, but when we do, we'll be having one of these for sure! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Evelyne, didn't even think of that song. And now I have it in MY head. :-) Thanks for the comment.
That is stunning, John, absolutely stunning. Sharing with a friend who loves gin. Cheers.
Hi Liz, isn't the color of this great? Flavor, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Such a fabulous idea to revive this cocktail. Timely, too. My dad, an astrophysicist, drove us all up to Saskatchewan so we could experience the total eclipse in 1979. It was pretty cool. I'm still toying with heading to Illinois to catch this one :)
My husband and I spent a good couple of hours trying to figure out how we could put ourselves into the path of the eclipse, but it was just too difficult, given other commitments. I guess we'll just have put ourselves directly into the path of a few of these! We'll drink them within a 2-minute time frame, and we'll wear special glasses.
Hi Liz, I've never seen a total solar eclipse (just a partial) so I'm psyched. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Jeff, love the idea of you drinking these in a 2-minute time frame wearing special glasses! :D BTW, I think the 2024 solar eclipse is going to be pretty close to Chicago, so assuming you're still there, you'll have a chance to see that one. Thanks for the comment.
I think I could actually drink this cocktail! I just don't like them too strong. I have some Luxardo Maraschino cherries that would be perfect for the drink.
Hi Mimi, those Luxardo cherries are wonderful! And would be perfect in this drink. Thanks for the comment.
Beautiful cocktail, once again, John! I haven't had sloe gin in a drink since we made sloe gin fizzes back in the day (and I mean waaaaay back!) Thanks for the reminder about the eclipse. Wish I could be in the path...I guess I'll have to see it when they feature it on tv! :)
Hi Anne, there will be plenty of pictures of the eclipse, I'm sure. You can look at them drinking one of these. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This cocktail is much prettier than an eclipse will every be ... and certainly great to get you in the mood for viewing. Very nice John 8)
Such a gorgeous cocktail, perfect for such an out of the ordinary, spectacular phenomenon!
Hi Merryn, it's a good drink! A tad sweet, but then the eclipse will be in the early afternoon here, and sweet drinks work at that time of the day. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Chris, isn't the color on this SO nice? One of the prettiest drinks we know! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Pam, it IS! :-) Thanks for the comment.
You lucky dog to live in the path of the eclipse. We looked at the path and tried to figure out if you could drive up somewhere to view it, but it's just not going to work out. I'd love to be sipping on this cocktail while viewing. Both should be fantastic!
Hi MJ, we really did get lucky with this one. Can't wait! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I just started reading about the eclipse, how serendipitous to find a beautiful cocktail recipe for it too, who would have thought? Thanks for the link for eclipse safety.
Hi Eva, the eclipse is fun stuff, isn't it? And this drink is fun stuff, too! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Thanks for the great link on eclipse glasses and for all the great info. What a fun drink and I love the connection and color. Happy weekend!
Love love love Gin, being from Plymouth I always have a bottle of regular and sloe gin in the house and this is a great way to enjoy it. There hasn't been a full eclipse for quite some time in the UK so enjoy it :)
Hi Tricia, those NASA sites have a ton of info! Thanks for the comment.
Hi Emma, the Plymouth brand of gin is great, isn't it? Thanks for the comment.
Huge star gazers and really want to head south to be able to get sight of this epic event. Even if we can't travel, just drinking one of your eclipse cocktails will keep us in a festive mood. Do you have your telescope and gear ready for action? I hope you can get some photos for us!!! :)
My friends were just talking about the eclipse last night. I want to see it! Love this cocktail and what it's named after :)
Hi Bobbi, thought about taking photos, but there will be so many good ones on the web I decided just to sit back, have one of these, and enjoy the show. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Anonymous, the eclipse will be fun! Particularly if you enjoy one of these while watching it. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Ha! I just saw a news story about a town in Oregon that is cashing in on the event, i.e. farms renting out viewing spots for $1500 per couple. And, that the liquor sales and pot sales are up tremendously for the event!!!! I would like to mix this up for our partial reveal here.
Hi Debra, that's a fun story! And yes, you do need to mix this up. :-) Thanks for the comment.
This is beyond clever for the upcoming eclipse! And far easier to see. ;)
Hi Carolyn, we're looking forward to drinking these during the eclipse. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi John, what a perfect way to celebrate the eclipse, beautiful drink. We are expecting tons of people here in Oregon, in fact some of the motels are trying to charge people 400 to 600 a night for a regular motel room. Crazy stuff......
Hi Cheri, that IS crazy stuff! Bet it'll be a fun time. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I'l love to have a sip :)
Hi Marta, this has wonderful flavor -- you'd like. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Lovely color, I hope we will get the chance to watch the eclipse as well.
What a super idea! We were just talking about this last night. We are in the 75% range in our area. Should be a good time, especially with the yummy cocktail!
Hi Amira, we can't wait to see the eclipse! :-) Thanks for the comment.
Hi Amy, this drink is a fun way to celebrate the big event! :-) Thanks for the comment.
I love that's there a cocktail for the occasion! Beautiful color too. I'd love to sip this while watching the natural wonder.
Hi Lisa, there's probably a cocktail for every occasion. And if there isn't, we'll have to invent one! :-) Thanks for the comment.
How unfortunate I only visited today! Otherwise I would have fixed me this super cocktail and would watch the full moon and the eclipse with its company!
Hi Katerina, you can always fix one of these and enjoy the eclipse's afterglow. :-) Thanks for the comment.
Gosh! that gorgeous color!
Hi Taruna, that color is spectacular, isn't it? And the flavor matches it :-) Thanks for the comment.
It's embarassing to admit, but not only have I never tried sloe gin, I never really cottoned on to the fact that it was it's own "thing" distinct from regular gin.... Now I'm curious!
Hi Frank, real sloe gin is good stuff. When I was in high school (60s) really awfully sloe gin was a lot of people's intro to booze. And turned them off on the whole idea of it (as it should -- the cheap stuff is awful). Thanks for the comment.
This is a beautiful drink. Sounds delicious. Perfect for the eclipse that is coming.
Hi Dawn, this is what we'll be drinking on Eclipse Day. :-) Thanks for the comment.
The black olive in Harry Craddock's original Eclipse cocktail was supposed to simulate the moon. We backlit the drink to highlight the sun's corona during a total solar eclipse.
You can see how it looks at http://homebars.barinacraft.com/post/164220640063/eclipse-cocktail-toasts-celestial-event
Hi BC, the problem with the olive is visually it looks great, but its flavor? Just not my cup of tea. Love that you made yours in a shot glass and photographed it from above -- VERY good photo. Thanks for the comment.
The Eclipse looks pretty great, awesome colour perfectly befitting a strangely awesome event.
Hi Anna, isn't this a wonderful color? Wonderful flavor, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.
I met another one with the same name. Created in NY 2009.
3/4 Aperol, lemon juice, Cherry-Heering
Hi Anonymous, interesting combo of ingredients! :-) Thanks for the comment.
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