In its early days, the Clover Club cocktail was only available to a few selected folks in Philadelphia. But it evolved into a drink every bartender should be able to do.
The raspberry cocktail has a quite unique flavor profile for such a classic drink: sweet, sour, and fruity flavors dominate this delightful cocktail.
Read on to on to learn about the history of the cocktail and how you can make it to perfection in your home bar.
The Clover Club recipe calls for five ingredients: Gin, freshly squeezed lemon juice, Dry Vermouth, raspberry syrup, and one egg white.
- Gin: I recommend using London Dry or Plymouth Gin. I like to use Sipsmith, Tanqueray, or Beefeater - all three are London Dry. Plymouth is a Gin type that is a bit drier than London Dry and has more pronounced citrus notes.
- Dry Vermouth: a French fortified wine infused with herbs and botanicals. Two of my favorite brands for cocktails are Noilly Prat and Dolin Dry.
- Egg white: This is necessary to create the right mouthfeel and creaminess in the Clover Club cocktail. It doesn't alter the flavor but is still vital for the drink.
- Raspberry Syrup: Go for one of the renowned quality brands like Monin or Giffard. If you don't have raspberry syrup, there areoptimons to substitute it.
Substitute Raspberry Syrup
Now, back to the raspberry syrup. The fruity sweetener is an essential ingredient for making a Clover Club.
I know there are claims that the original recipe included Grenadine instead of raspberry. However, despite some recipes asking for Grenadine, it wasn't part of the original recipe - and it certainly isn't the best way to make this cocktail.
Grenadine is too sweet, too heavy, and most importantly, does have no raspberry flavor. So what should you do if you don't have raspberry syrup at hand? Basically, you have two options:
- Option one is making your own raspberry simple syrup. It's not hard to make and will deliver even better results than using the bottled version. If you don't have time for that, don't worry, there's another alternative.
- Instead, you can muddle six raspberries with 0.25 ounces of fine sugar (or simple syrup). Use this mix as a substitute for raspberry syrup, and you will get an even fresher version of the Clover Club.
Why egg white?
The Clover Club recipe asks for egg white. That is responsible for that beautiful foamy top and gives the cocktail its smooth and silky texture.
There are quite some cocktails where egg white is an optional ingredient, but the Clover Club is not one of them. There is absolutely no way you can achieve the required creaminess and characteristic look of the cocktail without this foamy ingredient. If you don't want to use raw egg white, there's also a vegan alternative called Aquafaba.
And since you want a thick and consistent foam on top, you have to perform a dry shake. That means shaking all ingredients without ice first.
History of the Clover Club cocktail
The cradle of the Clover Club lies in Philadelphia in in the late 1800s. There, in the Bellevue-Stratford hotel, a selected group of men got together regularly to discuss current problems in the world. -Most of them were working in legal, business, and literary professions. So, the hotel was a Gentlemen's club that brought the male upper class together to talk and share a few drinks.
It was at here that the Clover Club had been shaken and served for the first time sometime during the 1890s. And for years, the cocktail was exclusively available to club members.
However, things changed when George Boldt, the former hotelier of the Bellevue-Stratford, moved to the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Together with him, the recipe for the cocktail arrived in New York City and was written down for the very first time:
The New York Press published its take on the drink as a mix of Gin, lemon juice, sugar, raspberry syrup, and egg white. And the cocktail was a huge success. People just loved the unique distinct flavor and the unusual way of mixing up a drink. Yet, after the initial hype, the fame of the Clover Club drink faded.
First came prohibition and then, In the 50s, the fruity cocktail was suddenly disparagingly referred to as a "Lady's drink" by whiskey-loving businessmen. Once the era of soda guns and pre-made sour mixes began, the cocktail vanished almost completely. The craft cocktail era was over. Simple-to-make drinks were in!
Luckily, times are ever-changing, and old trends do come back. The craft of making cocktails with fresh and quality ingredients is as present as it has never been. And with it, the delicious raspberry drink celebrated a remarkable comeback.
Why is it called Clover Club?
Clover Club was the name of the Gentlemen's Club in the Bellevue-Stratford hotel, where the cocktail was invented. So, the newspaper that mentioned the Clover Club cocktail for the first time in writing was in 1901 simply took the place of origin as a reference. And the name stuck.
- 1.5 oz Gin London Dry or Plymouth
- 0.5 oz Fresh lemon juice
- 0.5 oz Dry vermouth
- 0.5 oz Raspberry syrup
- 1 egg white
- 2-4 Raspberries for garnish
- Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker without ice and shake vigorously.1.5 oz Gin, 0.5 oz Fresh lemon juice, 0.5 oz Dry vermouth, 0.5 oz Raspberry syrup, 1 egg white
- Open the cocktail shaker, add plenty of ice, and shake until the cocktail is well-chilled.
- Strain into a well-chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with raspberries speared on a cocktail pick.2-4 Raspberries for garnish
One comment on “Clover Club Cocktail”
Thank you so much #cocktailsociety for gaving us these precious knowledge ...I really appreciate your words and information as well 🙌