Retro Cocktail for May: Clover Club

This month’s RETRO COCKTAIL was named for the “Clover Club”, an elite Philadelphia men’s club that met in the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. Its members were the movers and shakers of the day, the gentlemen and captains of industry, and for a time, it was the drink of Philadelphia Society. In 1917, its recipe was published for the first time in Thomas Bullock’s cocktail manual, The Ideal Bartender, but by Prohibition it fell out of favor, as did many of the vintage drinks. But thanks to the “cocktail Renaissance”, that's been going on since the 1980s, it's made a comeback.

"Clover Club" is a beautiful drink, with its soft pink color highlighted by the bright red raspberry garnish and the foamy head of emulsified egg white. The trick here, as with “The White Lady” (see RETRO COCKTAIL for June, 2016: The White Lady), is to dry shake all the ingredients including the egg white until your arms get tired, which is between two and three minutes, the more shaking the better. There are variations, of course, as there are with so many classic cocktails, and for the “Clover Club”, this involves the half part of raspberry syrup. Grenadine or red currant syrup have been used as substitutes, but I say why waste valuable cocktail space with sweet syrup when you can add flavor PLUS more alcohol! That’s why my version has a half part of Chambord, the delicious French raspberry cordial. In for a penny…

The Grand Ballroom at the Bellevue-Stratford. Can you say "opulent"?


Clover Club 2 parts Broker’s London Dry Gin ½ part Chambord (originally, raspberry syrup) splash of Grenadine* ½ part Fresh-squeezed Lemon juice 1 egg white from an organic, pasture-raised egg Dry shake all ingredients for 2 to 3 minutes to emulsify the egg white (shake vigorously without ice). Add ice to shaker, then shake well until frosty. Pour into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with 3 fresh raspberries on a pick.

*for old times' sake, and color.


The Bellevue-Stratford Hotel today. Yes, wow!


And be sure and try my new cocktail inspired by "Clover Club"... Caravaggio’s Dilemma: Another Effed-Up Artist & the Double-Edged Sword of Genius

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