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Clover Club

April 22 2016 | Restaurant News

Hello Cocktail Club,

Today we'll be talking about The Clover Club, a Philadelphia men's club active from 1882 though the 1920s. The club met at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel and became known for their Clover Club Cocktail, a drink that certainly pops up on its fair share of modern cocktail menus.

The Clover Club at Cafe Adelaide

The traditional recipe calls for gin, lemon, raspberry syrup, and an egg white, but grenadine is often used. Post-prohibition recipes seem to skew towards the grenadine version of the drink, but that can be attributed to the decline of raspberry syrup as a common ingredient behind bars of the era. However, one version I dug up, from Thomas Bullock's The Ideal Bartender (1917), caught my eye. It calls for dry vermouth in addition to the usual ingredients, and it is delicious.

It is a shame that this little addition fell out of favor, or was perhaps lost to time, because it transforms the drink from a fairly one-note expression of tart raspberries into something much more complex and interesting. This week, we'll be slinging Clover Clubs as our Cocktail of the Week, so come see if you notice the difference a little vermouth can make. 

Until next week,
Benton Bourgeois
Bar Chef of The Swizzle Stick Bar