Despite it’s decidedly ladylike aesthetic, the Clover Club takes its name from a pre-prohibition Philadelphia gentleman’s club. A time before egg whites were an issue. For that matter, a time when men weren’t afraid of the colour pink. Interesting note here:
“The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” (from a 1918 merchandising publication, referenced in a Smithsonian article on gender and colour)
So there. Pink drinks for all!
My history with the drink is a little messier. Literally. I’m a fan of asking bartenders to make me whatever they want – it’s only bitten me in the ass a few times (usually when I forget to mention my dislike for absinthe*, or my bare tolerance of Campari). I do apologize if you’re a bartender and this annoys you. I’ll specify if you tell me to. But otherwise, a great place to do this is at Pourhouse. Their cocktail list is lovely, but it barely scratches the surface of their repertoire. Give ’em free reign, and they introduce you to beautiful beasties like the Clover Club.
After downing it there, I decided I had to make it. I hadn’t really done much with egg whites before, but hey – how hard could it be? Well, hard. Very. Particularly if you’re chatting and not taking the whole thing seriously. Egg white, everywhere. The top blew off my shaker (which I obviously wasn’t holding on to all that well), and the mixture sprayed all over the kitchen. And me. And the cat. Cats. Kind of put a damper on things.
Fast-forward to the raspberries discussed here. I had to give it another shot. But this time, I did my research. I read about a dozen different methods, all with their own ratios. I read up on the best way to get an egg white emulsion in a cocktail. I held the top of the shaker on really tightly. And I came up with this:
I played around a bunch, so this doesn’t quite resemble any of the recipes I found, and owes most of it’s modest success to a conversation I had in passing about dry shaking.
The Clover Club
- 2 oz. gin
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 0.5 – 0.75 oz. raspberry syrup (less if you’re using a dry gin, more if you need to stand up to a citrusy one)
- 1 large egg white
Combine your gin, lemon juice, egg white and raspberry syrup in a shaker. Put the lid on and shake the hell out of it for about 30 seconds – particularly important, as this is what’ll get the egg emulsified, which gives you that nice foamy head. Add ice and give it another, less vigorous shake to chill it, then strain through a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail glass. Garnish, if you so choose, with raspberries on a cocktail pick (or a chopped off skewer…), which the less elegant of us might use to scoop up the remaining foamy bits at the end.
I started with less syrup the first time ’round, but I found I wanted the raspberry to be a little more assertive against the citrus. If I were to remake it with a dry gin, I think the original ratio would work nicely. In the end, it’s the egg white and tart raspberry syrup that come together to make this drink more interesting than expected. All nice and velvety. Especially good when in the glass, not all over your favourite cardigan.
*My single absinthe exception (to prove the rule) so far is in a really, really well made Corpse Reviver No.2