Although some say that 99% of the world’s problems could be solved by a nice cuppa tea, we all know they really mean gin. Ahh gin, mother’s ruin, queen of all spirits. Perfect for an apéritif, a digestif and a whole lot of carousing in between. I’m partial to a gin and tonic, a gin martini and even a fancy Negroni now and again. However, I think I may just have found my favourite gin cocktail of all time. I know, big claim.
The Clover Club is the cocktail that time forgot, oft neglected on bar menus across the country. Cocktail scholars (is that a thing?) debate whether it dates as far back as 1896 or 1911, but it’s safe to say that this was the drink of choice for Victorian hipsters, and a clear indicator of style and status. That’s me, one hundred years late to a trend. The drink was named after a club in Philadelphia frequented by a group of gentlemen journalists who met there to eat, chat about their writing and get hammered on Clover Clubs. Google tells me that there is a bar named after the cocktail in Brooklyn, New York. Perhaps the Clover Club cocktail may yet come back into fashion?
I have made a few changes to the list of ingredients. The original recipe calls for whisked egg white, which I don’t include, and a faithful reproduction would use raspberry syrup instead of fresh raspberries and sugar syrup. If you can source or be bothered to make raspberry syrup and you aren’t fundamentally opposed to the notion of egg in a drink, then do include them in your recipe! Otherwise here is my bastardised, delicious, alternative.
For one Clover Club you will need:
A cocktail shaker
15 ml sugar syrup- you can either buy a bottle of this or make your own by using two parts sugar to one part water. Boil the water, dissolve the sugar into it stirring frequently and remove from the heat as soon as it is completely dissolved. Leave to cool and thicken, then bottle.
20 ml lemon juice
Simply put all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with a bit of crushed ice, shake like a madman and pour into an awaiting martini glass. Best served ice cold.
The sweetness of the sugar syrup is offset by the sour lemon. The raspberry gives it a gorgeous pink colour and adds a subtle hint of fragrance. Finally, it contains a stonking amount of gin, and you just can’t argue with that. It might look girly, but this is a strong drink and not for the faint hearted. Go beyond two and the evening might become a bit hazy…
Shout out to my good friend Ellie, a fellow gin maid.
[Disclaimer: Obviously, please don’t indulge in this cocktail if you are under 18. Not only is it so strong it would knock out a small horse, but it’s far too sophisticated a drink to be necking down the park.]