The CLOVER CLUB Cocktail

Pre-dating Prohibition, the Clover Club Cocktail was named after a men's club of the same name that existed in Philadelphia from around the late 1800's until just before Prohibition.  Consisting of gin, lemon juice, raspberry syrup, and an egg white, it's a decidedly pink drink, one that would be consigned to the "girly drinks" category and shunned by later generations of drinking men as a result of its "feminine" color. As a result of its color (and the fear of salmonella from the use of raw egg) this cocktail classic all but disappeared from the bar scene, consigned to the dusty pages of bygone era recipe books, an oddity of past potable peccadilloes.

David Wondrich says in this Esquire post, "in 1934 we lumped it together with the 'pansies' -- the ten worst cocktails of the previous decade (which, that being the decade of bathtub gin and wood alcohol, is saying something). Our 1949 Handbook for Hosts tucks it among the Pink Ladies and Alexanders in the 'Something for the Girls' section." But Wondrich then goes on to say it's a cocktail worth trying and I agree. After all, it was the bespoke cocktail of a press club whose guests included the likes of Samuel "Mark Twain" Clemens, Joseph R. Pulitzer, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge and every President from Grover Cleveland to Woodrow Wilson in it's roster.

With that kind of pedigree it deserves a revival. We have pasteurized eggs now, men no longer fear pink, and gin is currently the poster child of the clear spirits world. The timing is all set for a Clover Club comeback.


1-1/2 Oz Hendrick's Gin
1/4 Oz Raspberry Syrup
3/4 Oz Lemon Juice
1 Egg White

GARNISH: Fresh Raspberries, Lemon Twist

TOOLS: Cocktail shaker, Blender

GLASS: Coupe

Dry shake the ingredients first for a good minute or two. (I cheat and use a blender for this step because I stupidly dislocated my shoulder ages ago and NEVER want to go through the resetting procedure EVER again.)
Transfer the ingredients to an ice filled cocktail shaker and shake to chill.
Strain into your chilled glass, garnish and serve.

I even did a Valentine's Day version with a crystalized sugar heart!


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