A long while back I had two regulars in my bar who enjoyed tasking me with interpreting classic cocktails. One night, these fellows ordered their all-time favorite, the Pendennis Club Cocktail. I blushed over my inability to conjure it: I had heard of it but had never encountered one nor seen a recipe. They walked me through it—gin, apricot brandy, lime juice, and Peychaud's, the revered, anise-inflected New Orleans bitters. Taking a sip, I experienced one of those zoom-freeze moments. Intriguingly opaque, slightly frothy, and salmon-hued, the Pendennis Club Cocktail has a mesmerizing balance of flavors: sweet, tart, and packed with spice and strength all at the same time. It has remained one of my favorite drinks for some two decades, during which time I have tinkered with its parts and attempted to trace its perplexing history.