rye whiskey, social hour, tom macy, cocktail, classic cocktail

Clover Club

Recipe

 

  • 1 ½ oz gin

  • ½ oz dry vermouth

  • ½ oz lemon juice

  • ½ oz raspberry syrup or 3 raspberries plus ½ oz simple syrup, or to taste.

  • ½ oz egg white (about ½ an egg white )

  

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, if using fresh raspberries muddle them first with the simple syrup.  “Dry shake” without ice first for about 6 seconds.  Then add ice and shake again very hard for 8-10 seconds.  Strain into a chilled coupe glass, using a fine strainer if you muddled raspberries. Garnish with a raspberry.

 

You can skip the dry shake step if you have decent sized ice cubes - around 1 x 1 inches or from a common ice cube tray - and you shake like your life depends on it.​

If you make a Clover Club, let me see!  

Tag a photo with #socialhourcocktails on Instagram.

Overview

The Clover Club bar in Brooklyn - where I am a partner and the head bartender - is where I learned pretty much everything I know about making cocktails.   So needless to say, the Clover Club cocktail is a drink I have quite reverence for and one I’m proud to have built my career behind. While it may look like a wispy, fruit-flavored trifle, don’t underestimate it.  The Clover Club is an elegant, tart, complex and altogether very sophisticated cocktail.   

 

Contrary to some assumptions, this was not invented at the Clover Club, though it is one of the cornerstones of our menu.  The oringal dates back to the turn of the 20th century (details on that further down the page).

 

For those, who've never encountered egg white in a cocktail before, don't be thrown, it's just there for texture, and is essential to this drink's success.

Commentary

 

Dry Vermouth

Many Clover Club recipes do not include dry vermouth, making the drink basically raspberry gin sour with egg white.  Which is a perfectly delightful to be sure.  But I think it is the addition of dry vermouth which it’s soft wine notes, is what bestows the Clover Club with its particular brand of magic, elevating it from very goodness, to true greatness. 

 

Measuring Egg Whites 

The white of an egg is usually enough for 2-3 cocktails, so if you’re making just 1 drink the whole white is going to be a little too much.  It can throw off the balance and give the cocktail a chalky texture.  You only want about one third of the white, or so.  One approach to measuring egg whites is to separate the egg right over the shaker and only let a part of the white fall in.  Granted this is not the most glamorous or accurate technique.  But it is the simplest.  

 

Another more precise option is to beat the white separately so it pours more fluidly.  You can do this is a shaker, and shake the white without ice for about 6 seconds.  Or if you're beating multiple whites, use an egg beater/electric mixer. This will allow you to measure the whites using a jigger. You'll need about ¼ oz per drink.

 

Clover Clubs For a Crowd

Unfortunately there aren’t many shortcuts to making Clover Clubs in bulk.  But here are a couple tips:

 

The biggest key to remember is to only add egg white to drinks that you are about to shake and serve. The other ingredients can be batched ahead of time, but if egg white sits in a batch with booze it will begin to curdle, which is not what you want.   If you’re making a large round, it’s easier to whisk the batch and egg white together in a bowl, or use an immersion blender, to emulsify them before shaking. You’ll also probably want to make raspberry syrup beforehand to avoid muddling all those raspberries.

The Clover Club Story

(and a Word on Manly Drinks)

The Clover Club was the signature drink of a men’s group, which was also called the Clover Club, made up of a collection of Philadelphia journalists, lawyers and writers.  They convened at the Bellevue Stratford Hotel every so often from the 1880s into the 1920s to drink, pontificate and sling insults at each other.   It caught on with the public and reached peak popularity in the late 19-teens, then after prohibition slowly faded into the cocktail void that was the 1950s-70s.  It’s resurgence, like so many deserving classic cocktails, is thanks the cocktail revival of the last 25 years.

 

I’ve always loved that a pink drink with a raspberry perched daintily on top is the official cocktail of a club where men get together to act like manly men.  I think this should be an example to guy everywhere who avoids certain drinks because they fear it will be an affront to their gender.  Seriously, if drinking something pink makes you that uncomfortable, I think it may be time to reassess your definition of masculinity.  Be a man, and drink what you want.  

 

Raspberry Syrup

  • 1 cup raspberries

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 cup water

  1. In a small pot or bowl crush the raspberries with a muddler.

  2. Add the sugar and water and stir over very low heat to dissolve the sugar.   DO NOT BOIL.

  3. Once the sugar is mostly dissolved, remove from heat.

  4. Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes, then stir to dissolve any remaining sugar. 

  5. Run the syrup through a chinois to remove the seeds and pulp.

  6. Refrigerate; will keep for about 1 month.

 

© 2019 socialhourcocktails.com  All Rights Reserved

tom@socialhourcocktails.com Brooklyn, NY

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