Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Pendennis Cocktail

The Pendennis Cocktail

This classic has the clear, cleansing flavor of an April shower

The weather is finally getting warmer in our part of the world. Soon we’ll be craving cool libations to sip during those long spring evenings.

The Pendennis Cocktail, with its pink hue and enticing apricot aroma, is perfect for that. Named after a Louisville private club, the drink is less well known than it deserves to be. Once you taste it, though, we’re betting this will become a regular in your drinks rotation.

Be sure to share it with your friends, too. They’ll toast your generosity.



The Pendennis Cocktail

Recipe: The Pendennis Cocktail

This gin-based drink is flavored with apricot brandy and lime juice. It gets its pretty color (plus some additional flavor) from Peychaud’s bitters. This all adds up to a nice balance of floral and citrus flavors.

We’ve seen several versions of this drink, but prefer the one Ted Haigh (aka Doctor Cocktail) presents in his Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails. Our version is slightly adapted from his.

This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and serves one.

Ingredients
  • 2 ounces dry gin
  • ¾ to 1 ounce apricot brandy (start with ¾ ounce; see Notes)
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
  • lime wedge or twist for garnish (optional)
Procedure
  1. Place all ingredients (except garnish) in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the contents are well chilled (15 to 20 seconds).
  2. Strain the contents of the shaker into a cocktail glass, preferably one that’s been chilled. Add garnish, if you wish, and serve.
The Pendennis Cocktail

Notes
  • Some drinkers prefer to use peach brandy instead of apricot in this cocktail. We’re not fans of that switch, but you may be. So experiment away.
  • How much apricot (or peach) brandy to use? It depends on how sweet the brandy is. Start with ¾ ounce. If that’s not enough flavor to suit you, go up to 1 ounce.
  • This drink often is served without garnish, but we like to add a lime wedge or wheel. It looks nice – plus we can squeeze the juice into the drink, upping its citrus quotient.
  • Peychaud’s bitters really are a must in this drink. You can find them at most good liquor stores, or online. Don’t substitute another bitter for the Peychaud’s brand; the flavor (and color) will be off. 
  • The Pendennis Club is a Louisville, Kentucky institution. It’s an elite, private dining and social club that was formed in 1881. 
  • As is the case with so many drinks, the origin of the Pendennis Cocktail is lost to time. No one knows who invented it, or when. But some written references date it back to 1915, so we know the drink is at least that old.
  • Some people claim that the Old-Fashioned Cocktail was invented at the Pendennis Club. This is almost certainly a myth, but an entertaining one.
The Pendennis Cocktail

Primavera

“Great drink,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Tastes a bit like grapefruit.”

“Well, we need citrus after the long winter months we’ve just been through,” I said.

“Yup, we had snow on Easter Sunday,” said Mrs K R. “Just a little April Fool’s prank by the weather gods.”

“Fortunately, they’re now sleeping it off on Mount Olympus,” I said.

“While we’re feeling the first stirrings of spring fever,” said Mrs K R.

“That calls for another round,” I said.

“Only one more, though,” said Mrs K R. “We’re no spring chickens.”

True. But hope springs eternal.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Old-Fashioned Cocktail
Pegu Club Cocktail
Whiskey Sour Cocktail
Seelbach Cocktail
Tuxedo Cocktail
Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail
Income Tax Cocktail
Or check out the index for more

60 comments:

  1. Gin was a favourite when I still drank cocktails. This looks so beautiful...light pink colour against dark background...gorgeous shot!

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    1. Hi Angie, it's a pretty drink, isn't it? Thanks for the comment.

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  2. The Pendennis Club! That brings back memories since I grew up in Louisville and was there for various occasions! Quite the place back then and probably still is, Southern Charm! I love gin so have to try this cocktail. Bring on 5:00! Thanks for the great post and drink!

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    1. Hi Pam, there are several really good drinks that come out of Louisville We haven't been to the Pendennis Club, and doubt if they're let us in. :-) At least we can enjoy their signature drink. :-)

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  3. What a pretty drink! AND it has some of my favorite ingredients. I'll be trying this one for sure. Tell me, how much is three dashes of bitters in spoon measurements, maybe 1/4 teaspoon? more? less?

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    1. Hi Jean, a dash is about 1/8 teaspoon, but it's not one of those exact measures. I'd say 1/4 teaspoon would be just a bit light, but some recipes for this drink call for only 2 dashes, to that'd be right on. You'll love this! Enjoy :-) And thanks for the comment.

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  4. This sounds like my kind of drink! I love the color and how light it sounds. Perfect for the heat here in Phoenix!

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    1. Hi Kelsie, isn't the color neat? And the flavor is excellent. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. This pinkish color is adorable John, I wish I can turn all your cocktails to mocktails so I can enjoy them. Lovely.

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    1. Hi Amira, that color is outrageous, isn't it? Even if you don't drink cocktails, I think they're fun to look at. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. This sounds fabulous! And that color is perfect on me! Makes me feel ready for spring! Sending this Manservant's direction for Friday's happy hour!

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    1. Hi Abbe, this is a wonderful happy hour drink! And isn't that color neat? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Wow - what a GORGEOUS hue - fantastic coloring! And, with that apricot brandy and lime juice, this sounds so delicious! Now, I have gotta get my hands on some Peychaud’s bitters now.

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    1. Hi Shashi, isn't that hue wonderful? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. it is such a pretty pink and it sounds delicious.

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    1. Hi Dahn, it really tastes wonderful! A new favorite of ours. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Prost , another delicious cocktail. You should open a bar.

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, Prost! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Were you ever a bartender because you always make the prettiest drinks. You should create a cookbook. This looks beautiful!

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    1. Hi Vicki, we only started drinking cocktails maybe a dozen years ago, mainly because we found their history so interesting. So no bar-tending background. :-) Thanks for that very kind comment.

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  11. I finally tried gin! My parents, really no one I know is a fan, but I actually really, really like it. I wonder if I try to order this the next time I am out, the bartender will know how to make it. I'll have to test them :)

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    1. Hi Laura, gin is good, isn't it? If the bartender doesn't know how to make this, just pull out your handy phone and show him this recipe. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. A gorgeous drink! Apricot and lime have me dreaming of summer sunshine!

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    1. Hi Deb, gorgeous and delish! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. I don't know about the current name but I think it should be called pink lady. It is gorgeous! Cheers!

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    1. Hi Denise, there's actually a pretty good cocktail already called the Pink Lady (http://www.kitchenriffs.com/2014/02/the-pink-lady-cocktail.html) -- also worth having. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  14. Not only does it sound delicious, it looks beautiful. Pinning.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, it's both! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. Well it's certainly a beautiful cocktail! It's probably too strong for me (don't you get tired of hearing that?!!) but I'm saving the recipe for when friends come over.

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    1. Hi Mimi, this does have a fair amount of gin in it, so you might just want half of one of these. At least you can admire the color! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. If I could drink this, I 100% would, because as you probably remember, I am not a SPRING lover, but I mean, I could always TRY to put myself in the mood with a cocktail! ;)

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    1. Hi GiGi, this would definitely help with your spring, um, fever problem. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. Our weather has been horrible! We’ve been in Santa Fe and missed snow, then 5 inches of rain. Hoping we arrive home to a dry basement!! One of these apricot beauties may be in order if we don’t!

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    1. Hi Liz, we've had a bunch of rain too. Weird weather -- 68 degrees one day, 28 the next. :-( But drinking one of these will bring on spring, won't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Replies
    1. Hi Pam, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. I keep hoping the weather is going to get a bit warmer! So far, no suck luck here in Buffalo. This drink sounds really good. I enjoy gin-based cocktails.

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    1. Hi Amy, Buffalo has some tough weather, doesn't it? But your spring will be gorgeous when it finally arrives! Thanks for the comment.

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  20. You had snow on Easter Sunday? My goodness. When will spring arrive up your way. With this cocktail you're staying positive. :) Nice color and I love the hint of apricot. The bitters are new to me. It sure sounds like a spring cocktail. Thanks John!

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    1. Hi MJ, the snow didn't last, but it was a shock! We might actually get a bit of snow this weekend, too -- weird weather. We need to drink a bunch of these -- kind of a spring dance, much like a rain dance. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. Oh apricot brandy and lime juice - what a combination. I bet it is delicious. The color is outstanding and looks perfect for spring. Happy weekend John!

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    1. Hi Tricia, wonderful flavor, amazing color -- perfect drink! Thanks for the comment.

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  22. What a pretty looking drink and I bet refreshing too. I do love a gin cocktail.

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    1. Hi Emma, gin is so nice in cocktails, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. This is spring in a glass. Love the light flavors, colours and also perfect color to match the soon to be flower buds in the trees. Wishing you a super weekend!

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    1. Hi Bobbi, color (and flavor!) is great, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. Yum. Who can resist a pink cocktail?
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Hi Amalia, I know, right? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. What a beautiful cocktail. I've never heard of it.

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    1. Hi Jeff, this isn't a cocktail most people know. I didn't until several years ago when I read about it in Haigh's book. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. Love the color! I think I might try it with peach as I'm not too partial to sour tastes.

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    1. Hi Frank, the peach is fun! You might want to up the quantity to a full ounce if your don't like sour tastes -- the estra bit of sweetness might better balance the lime juice for you. Thanks for the comment.

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  27. What a lovely color that cocktail is. So delicate looking. And with the flavor of apricots? I think this is my new favorite to quaff.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, really nice flavor on this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  28. What a beautiful colour this is! I love the sound of everything that goes into it too.

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    1. Hi Caroline, as I recall, you like gin, so you'll definitely like this! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. This pale pink color is absolutely fantastic! Perfect for these warm late spring nights!

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    1. Hi Katerina, love the color of this! So excellent. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. What a pretty cocktail! Perfect for spring. And, I have all the ingredients on hand. Can't wait to taste this.

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    1. Hi Lisa, isn't this nice? Love the color, and the flavor is wonderful! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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