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Clover Club

Clover Club, Gin cocktail
Clover Club, Gin cocktail
Clover Club, Gin cocktail
Written by Gin Foundry

The Clover Club is a pretty-in-pink classic cocktail, with a rich, silky texture and a great complexity that is perfectly balanced to keep most parties happy.

This is a night-time drink – one to be sipped when it’s dark and calm outside but light and loud at the bar. Be warned however, the person who orders just one Clover Club is a rare beast…

How we make a Clover Club:

 50ml gin (GF recommends Sipsmith London Dry)

10ml lemon juice

5ml grenadine (or raspberry syrup)

10ml Sweet Vermouth

Handful of fresh raspberries

1 egg white

Raspberry to garnish

“Dry shake” all ingredients in a shaker for about 30 seconds until the egg has emulsified and the berries have been pulverised. Add half a cup of ice, then shake again until cold. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a raspberry.

An abridged, inebriated history:

The Clover Club pre-dates Prohibition and takes its name from the Philadelphia men’s club with which it shares a name. It was something of an old boys club, established by lawyers and bankers in the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in the 1880s.

It is unknown when and by whom the drink was originally made, but by 1910 it was being sold far outside the city of Philadelphia, in hotels like the Plaza in New York City.

Its earliest print incarnation comes from 1909 Drinks – How to serve them by Paul E. Lowe (where Lowe forgets to add the lemon by mistake) followed by the recipe in all its glory in Jeanette Young Norton’s Mrs. Norton’s Cook-book: Selecting, Cooking, and Serving for the Home Table (1917).

Though it’s going through a well-deserved renaissance now, the Clover Club certainly took a tumble from favour; in 1934 Esquire magazine named it as one of the ten worst cocktails, calling it a drink for “pansies” and relegating it to the ladies drinks section in cocktail books. Esquire saw sense eventually (after 74 years of rumination) and posted a recipe for the drink, describing it as ‘unusual, tasty, strong, and not at all slimy.’ We’ve always maintained that the Clover Club is a hugely underrated concoction. Bright and fruity, yet enough of a boozy hit to quench that thirst. Nevertheless, as drinks recipes go, we’ll admit that it’s not the most forgiving and can easily be butchered.

Don’t despair if it’s not quite right on your first attempt. Any excuse to “practice” eh… Our personal recommendation for the drink is to use a homemade raspberry syrup instead of grenadine – this will make it taste much fresher. Also, don’t skip the dry shaking part. It’s crucial for that lovely frothy head.

Clover Club, Gin cocktail