This Pendennis, like the Barnum Cocktail, contains apricot brandy. There is just something magical about how this liqueur brightens a cocktail. Although fairly sweet, it is usually paired off of other interesting flavors. This allows it to go into the background and throw you little pieces of paper that say, “Hey, your cocktail is so complex and refreshing because of me.”
Trader Vic had a second version of this cocktail that eliminates the lime juice and Peychaud bitters altogether and adds dry vermouth. There is a hint of similarity between the two drinks, but that could be the tart taste of lime still lingering in my mouth from the Pendennis you see below.
- 2oz gin
- 1oz apricot brandy
- 3 dashes Peychaud bitters
- 3/4oz lime juice
From: Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, Dr. Cocktail
The aromas of apricot and the peyshaud bitters mix in your nose as you sip. The gin, apricot brandy, and bitters continue to play around in your mouth, fighting each other for dominance but inevitably deciding to just sit down and let the lime take the stage. The combat of flavors is actually an enjoyable one and rarely gets old.
The Pendennis is a sweeter version of The Grande Bretagne Cocktail, described in The Gentleman’s Companion Vol. II, by Charles H. Baker, Jr., as “one of the five or six chief cocktails of the whole wide world.” For the Grande Bretagne, use 1 1/2oz gin, 1/2oz apricot brandy, 1/2oz lime juice, 1 dash orange bitters, and 1tsp egg white (optional). While I may not entirely agree with the author’s claim, this cocktail is dryer than the Pendennis and worth at least one go around.