Pan American World Airways was one of the major players in commercial aviation, and its Clipper flying boats were known around the world. In 1939 Charles Baker mentioned the cocktail in his book The Gentleman’s Companion, or Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask. Unlike the Clippers (which stopped being used shortly after World War II) and Pan Am (which went out of business in 1991), the Pan Am Clipper continues to soar thanks to articles such as this one in Punch. Here's my adaptation:
2 ounces apple brandy
.75 ounces lime juice
.75 ounces glorious grenadine
Coat the inside of a chilled coupe glass with absinthe, discard the excess, put the other ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake as if you're hitting some turbulence on the way to a fascinating new destination, and strain into the glass.
Fundamentally the Pan Am Clipper is a Jack Rose with a little absinthe. Absinthe presents one of the many variables in the Pan Am Clipper, as you can either coat the inside of a glass (as you would with a Sazerac) or put a very small amount directly in the mix (as you would with a When Ernest Met Mary). Similarly, you could use applejack instead of apple brandy; if you compare apples to apples you'll know they are similar but not the same. Regardless of your attack angle (pilots know what I'm talking about), the Pan Am Clipper belongs on the aviation cocktail itinerary along with drinks such as the Paper Plane, the Burnt Fuselage, and of course, the Aviation.
So are you ready to take cocktail flight on the Pan Am Clipper?