Time for a Drink: Clover Club

[Photo: Robyn Lee]

In the world of drinks, as in politics and entertainment, spectacular collapses are a frequent occurrence. Remember the Harvey Wallbanger? One of the landmark drinks of the 1970s, this ungodly concoction is now a punchline, and it plunged from popularity with breathtaking suddenness and a speed.

So it went with the Clover Club. Originally named for a Philadelphia social club with roots tracing back to the 1880s, the Clover Club was, for decades, one of the marks of the sophisticated boozer, a manly drink (despite its pink hue) shaken by the bucketload in the wood-paneled lounges of the early 20th century.

Then, by the time the 1950s rolled around, it was gone--done in by the dry martini, as well as the swelling popularity of its close relative, the Pink Lady. Due to the Pink Lady's name and appeal among what was then known as the fairer sex, no captain of industry would be caught dead drinking it. That's too bad. The Clover Club is a wonderful drink, and thanks to the ongoing classic cocktail renaissance, it's getting a second wind.

The drink even lends its name to the recently opened Clover Club in Brooklyn, owned by Julie Reiner, whose other bar ventures include Flatiron Lounge and Pegu Club in Manhattan. It's worth a visit to the Clover Club to see this drink prepared with a devotion it hasn't enjoyed in decades, but you don't have to arrange a trip to Brooklyn to enjoy one.

Here's how to make a Clover Club at home. Cool and crisp, it's a great seasonal bridge drink for the waning days of summer.

Time for a Drink: Clover Club

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Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 2 teaspoons raspberry syrup or grenadine
  • 1 very fresh egg white

Procedures

  1. 1

    Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake, without ice, for 10 seconds, to aerate the egg white. Open and fill with ice, then reseal and shake very hard for 10 seconds; strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

  2. 2

    Note: Some recipes call for the addition of a 1/2 ounce or so of dry vermouth. A worthwhile experiment.

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