Combating Winter with Summer Drinks

Food & Wine: Toby Cecchini's Improved Pendennis Club Cocktail
Toby Cecchini's Improved Pendennis Club Cocktail Photo © Alberto Rodriguez
By Megan Krigbaum Posted February 20, 2014

From sweet-tinged bourbon to super–smoky Islay Scotches to spicy rye from unexpected places like Iowa (see: Templeton rye), I love whiskey of all sorts, at all times. So I can't believe I'm about to admit this, but we've had five feet of snow in New York City, it's been frigid for months and I've reached my limit on whiskey-based cocktails. I hit this point every year. Roll out the daiquiris and the piña coladas and the gin and tonics—I'm done!

A couple months ago, even before I hit this sun-deprived low, I sat down for a cocktail at Toby Cecchini's delightful new Long Island Bar in Brooklyn. He poured me the Improved Pendennis Club cocktail, which was inspired by a drink from a fabled club in Louisville, Kentucky. “I've always wondered how an old-boy's club in the heart of bourbon country—and which apocryphally maintains, depending on which version you happen to hear, that it is the birthplace of either the Manhattan or the old-fashioned—happened to derive its house cocktail with a base of gin,” says Cecchini. I would venture to guess that it was created by a bartender in the dead of an icy, snow-blasted February.

Whatever the provenance, the drink is delicious and exactly what I want to drink right now: It's citrusy and lightly sweet and floral and intensely peachy, thanks to Giffard's Abricot du Roussillon liqueur. It's the perfect cocktail for after a round of golf, while enjoying a day at the track or an ice-cold evening spent on a couch.

Toby Cecchini's Improved Pendennis Club Cocktail
2 ounces Beefeater gin
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 ounce Giffard Abricot du Roussillon liqueur
1/2 ounce Purkhart Blume Marillen dry apricot eau-de-vie
1/4 ounce simple syrup
3 solid dashes the Bitter Truth Creole bitters

1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all of the ingredients. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail coupe and serve.

For more seasonally inappropriate cocktails:
Modern Summer Cocktails
Summer Drinks Guide
Best Tiki Bars in the U.S.

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