Classic gin-based elegance with raspberry-lemon panache
Ah, wedding season. Time to dress fancy and act grown up. But Uncle Roy will be there, and he drives you to drink. What to do?
Just mix yourself a Clover Club Cocktail. It’s a frothy gin delight with lemon and raspberry notes. Plus, it’s pink – the perfect nuptial hue, n’est-ce pas?
You’ll be drinking pretty with a smile on your face. Even Aunt Edith can’t complain about that.
Recipe: The Clover Club Cocktail
The Clover Club Cocktail recipe we prefer comes from Julie Reiner, who serves it at her (appropriately named) Clover Club Bar in Brooklyn, New York. She adds a bit of dry vermouth to the mix, which we think is genius. It makes for a smoother drink with more depth of flavor.
Reiner’s version is an improvement on the traditional Clover Club recipe, which we discuss in the Notes.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and serves one.
- 1½ ounces dry gin
- ½ ounce dry vermouth
- ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ ounce raspberry syrup (see Notes for recipe)
- ~¼ to ½ egg white (see Notes)
- fresh raspberries for garnish (optional)
- Place all ingredients (except garnish) in a cocktail shaker without ice. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds (to develop froth on the egg white). Add ice, then shake for another 30 seconds.
- Strain into a cocktail glass or coupe (preferably one that has been chilled) – but make sure you don’t strain out the froth. Add garnish, if desired, and serve.
- You can use any decent name-brand dry gin for this drink.
- The egg white in this cocktail doesn’t really add flavor. It just helps emulsify the drink and creates silky mouthfeel. You can skip the egg white if you want, but the drink won’t look nearly as nice.
- How much egg white to use? About ¼ to ½ ounce per serving – which amounts to about half an egg white per drink, or less. (Tip: If you whisk the egg white a bit, it becomes easier to measure). When we mix this drink for two, we use one egg white. But even if we mix it for four, we don’t increase the amount – one egg white is still enough to provide emulsion and froth.
- Reminder: Raw egg whites can contain salmonella. The risk is small, but if you’re concerned, just use pasteurized eggs.
- You can buy commercially prepared raspberry syrup, but it’s easy to make your own: Use 2 parts sugar to 1 part water and 1 part raspberries. Place a cup of sugar in a saucepan and add half a cup of water. Heat on medium until the sugar is dissolved. Add half a cup of raspberries (rinse them first). Using a wooden spoon, stir until the raspberries form a pulp. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool. Pour the mixture through a strainer and press lightly to extract some the raspberry juice (don’t press too hard – you don’t want to push solids through the strainer, which could make the syrup cloudy). Pour the syrup into a glass container or a plastic squeeze bottle, then refrigerate.
- Raspberry syrup will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. If you want to keep it longer, add ½ ounce of vodka to the finished syrup – the alcohol will slow bacterial growth.
- We use fresh raspberries when we make this syrup, but frozen ones probably would work just as well.
- Don’t have time to make raspberry syrup? You could substitute grenadine, but the flavor of the drink won’t be as good.
- We’ve also seen recipes that use raspberry jam in this drink (maybe a teaspoon). We haven’t tried this, but it sounds like an interesting idea.
- BTW, you can adjust the amount of lemon juice and raspberry syrup to taste – some people like to use ¾ ounce of each.
- The classic recipe for the Clover Club Cocktail is 2 ounces gin, ½ ounce lemon juice, ½ ounce raspberry syrup, and about half an egg white. It’s a good drink – but not as good as the version with dry vermouth, in our opinion.
- So where did the Clover Club Cocktail originate? It apparently was developed as the signature drink of the Clover Club, a Philadelphia gentlemen’s club that was popular with writers, lawyers, and businessmen in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
“No wonder bees love clover,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “This has me buzzing.”
“Glad I gave you the raspberry?” I said.
“Don’t make me use my stinger,” said Mrs K R. “You’re lucky this drink has me feeling rosy.”
“Yeah,” I said. “Good thing I ginned it up.”
“No pink slip for you today, barkeep,” said Mrs K R. “Especially if you mix me another.”
“I’m making a beeline for the bottles now,” I said.
“It will fill me with honeyed words,” said Mrs K R. “And dreams of lazy summer days.”
Me too. We’re just Riffs in clover.
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