Clover Club Cocktail

I’ll admit to being the kind of guy that likes a pink drink every now and then, but I don’t like to admit that I’m the kind of guy that buys raspberries in the winter. Writing cookbooks with deadlines that don’t always flow with the seasons, if I need a few cherries in the winter to test a recipe or a few cups of blueberries, I’ll resort to frozen or, uh…”fresh” if I really have to get the job done. I used to look down on people that bought out-of-season fruit at the markets or grocery stores, or the ones who inspected every single piece of fruit on offer like it was a rare gem, until I realized they were all recipe developers or food stylists and they were just doing their jobs.

I’ll also admit after making this Clover Club cocktail, which has a dash of raspberry syrup added for color and flavor, perked me up this winter. Although vacation is off the table for a while, I felt like I was taking a little trip to somewhere exotic when I took that first ruby-color, raspberry-flavored sip. To be honest, it felt a bit illicit. And I loved it.

Bushberries have become available all year round in America as well as in France. I find most of them okay, although they’re not as good as just-picked berries off the bush. (Out of season strawberries, however, are universally terrible.) Last year was a loooong year – and it’s only the middle of January for this year – and I needed something to give me a psychological reset, if you will.

The Clover Club cocktail is a pre-prohibition classic cocktail that was named after a club in Philadelphia, named the Clover Club. It’s unclear who first came up with it, but leave it to Julie Reiner, owner of Clover Club, an excellent cocktail bar in Brooklyn to offer up a great version of the drink. Her recipe has appeared in different versions around the web, on Imbibe and Punch, to name a few. And the versions vary a bit in the technique for shaking it up (because food and drink aren’t static). After giving it a few gos, this is the one I settled on which uses a reverse dry shake, where you shake up the ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker, then remove the ice and shake it again to froth up the egg whites even more. It’s a fun drink to make, and even more fun to drink.

Clover Club cocktail

If you're skittish about using raw egg whites, you can substitute the liquid from chickpea cooking liquid, called aquafaba. In my side-by-side experiments, the foam isn't quite isn't as rich and stiff as the egg white, but it works just fine. To measure out the egg white, briskly stir an egg white in a small bowl for a few seconds to break it up, then measure it into the jigger.
The technique used for making this cocktail is called a reverse dry shake. With egg white-based cocktails, sometimes you do a dry shake where you shake all the ingredients together without ice to set the foam, then add ice and shake it again before straining the drink into a glass. The reverse dry shake is said to make a better foam and I tried it here and it works well.
In place of fresh raspberries, frozen unsweetened raspberries will work just as well and Julie also told me that you can replace the raspberry syrup in the recipe with 1/2 ounce of raspberry jam in a pinch. I've also seen recipes that call for grenadine in place of the raspberry syrup, but I'd stick with the raspberries.
Course Drinks
Servings 1 cocktail
  • 1 1/2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce raspberry syrup, see Note below
  • 1/2 ounce egg white
  • Place the gin, vermouth, lemon juice, raspberry syrup and egg whites in a cocktail shaker and fill two-thirds full with ice. Cover and shake vigorously for 25 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into a glass or small bowl, dump out the ice, and return the mixture to the shaker, cover and shake for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Pour into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a skewered raspberry or two.

Notes

Note: To make the raspberry syrup, toss 1/4 cup (40g, 1.5 ounces) of fresh raspberry in a small bowl with 1/2 cup (100g) sugar. Pour 1/4 cup (60ml) of warm (not hot) water over them and let sit for 30 minutes, stirring and mashing them together with a fork or spoon a few times. Press the mixture through a fine strainer and chill until needed. 
The syrup will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator or it can be frozen. 

Clover Club Cocktail

28 comments

  • Julia
    January 21, 2021 5:07pm

    This looks delicious. A favorite pink drink of mine that you might enjoy is a Siesta, tequila/grapefruit/lime/Campari. Pink and in season in winter too!
    https://www.thrillist.com/drink/how-to-make-a-siesta-cocktial-classic-cocktail-recipe Reply

  • January 21, 2021 5:09pm

    That lede is everything. :) Reply

  • Jesse Livermore
    January 21, 2021 5:13pm

    The motto of the Clover Club in Philadelphia was “While we live we live in clover; When we die we die all over!”

    Alas, the club has been defunct for almost 100 years Reply

    • Leesa
      January 24, 2021 5:35pm

      I’m trying this cocktail tonight and we will make sure to quote the Clover motto. Love it! Reply

  • Cathy
    January 21, 2021 5:48pm

    As someone who’s been binge watching “Death in Paradise” for the scenery, I can definitely sympathize with the desire for something exotic. The weather forecast is for 8 consecutive days of rain in So Cal, so a bright pink drink is just perfect right now. Thanks! Reply

  • Susan
    January 21, 2021 6:03pm

    We have a patch of intensely flavourful heritage raspberries in our backyard and make sure to freeze some every year to enjoy through the winter. I will break some out this weekend for what sounds like a very delightful cocktail! Reply

  • Sara Orel
    January 21, 2021 6:26pm

    I have always thought that a good cocktail should feel at least slightly illicit! Reply

    • January 21, 2021 6:31pm
      David Lebovitz

      That’s a good way of thinking about it :) Reply

  • Susan Riggs
    January 21, 2021 6:40pm

    This sounds so delicious! I can’t wait to try it.
    Merci beaucoup Reply

  • Suze
    January 21, 2021 7:32pm

    Dear David,
    Thank you for your inspiring, lighthearted writing, especially the past year. I enjoy all your publications for your refreshing attitude and delightful individuality. I always learn something new with each of your postings. Lovingly submitted, Suze Bowen, on Vancouver Island in BC Canada Reply

  • ellie
    January 21, 2021 8:29pm

    I no longer drink spirits, preferring wine now, but gin used to be my favorite. I nevertheless enjoyed your Insta-stories because it was just a delight to visit with you and Romain.

    I do love the thought of this fresh raspberry syrup. Maybe I’ll come up with a sub for gin. Reply

    • January 21, 2021 8:38pm
      David Lebovitz

      If you’re a wine drinker, I’m thinking it might be interesting just to use more dry vermouth in place of the gin. I haven’t tried it but that could be a way to go… Reply

  • January 21, 2021 9:09pm

    I just already love the presentation with that perfect raspberry balancing on the rim! I’ve been known to add fresh raspberries to nearly everything one can drink – they are such a delicious and slightly decadent berry.
    On a different note and I apologize for using this post but I don’t know how else to say this: Your ‘appart’ book must be the longest unfinished book. Not because it isn’t good but because it sounds so terrifyingly true and every few pages I must put it away because it brings up all our similar and heart- and wallet-breaking experiences with house buying on Ile-de-France. There is only so much one can take – and you excel with such skill, humour that I take it up again every so often when I feel strong enough to ‘take on the next blow’ of your tale. Thank You so much – it feels great to not having been the only foreigners with a kind and generous attitude to be taken for a ride. Reply

    • January 22, 2021 4:18pm
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks and glad you got into the book. It was quite an experience, and glad it’s over! Reply

  • Aleksandra
    January 21, 2021 10:31pm

    I am forever in awe that you are willing to do such experiments, like testing aquafaba, for the sake of your readers.
    The drink sounds delicious, exactly what one needs to brighten the day at this time of year. And considering the amount of frozen raspberries taking up space in my freezer, I think I will give it a go! Reply

  • Mel
    January 21, 2021 11:08pm

    This looks fabulous and so cheery. What a great idea to use the aqua faba – I am definitely squeamish about raw egg in drinks so this is a revelation! Would the measurement be the same as the egg white and do you think the aquafaba could be frozen in small quantities for future cocktails? Thank you David (& Romain) for keeping us entertained during this terrible time – we have similar lockdown in London as you have in Paris and life is very hard. Many thanks and best wishes. Reply

    • January 22, 2021 1:22pm
      David Lebovitz

      Yes the measurement is the same as egg whites. I haven’t frozen aquafaba so don’t know but since chickpea cooking water is inexpensive ; ) give freezing some of it a try and see how it whips up. Glad you’ve been enjoying the cocktails and presentations and sending you best wishes in London. Reply

    • January 22, 2021 2:29pm

      You can definitely freeze it. Lots of people do! Although, I usually just open a new can of chickpeas, and plan on hummus later. Reply

  • January 22, 2021 2:49am

    Oh, my! I have some frozen garden raspberries from last summer, when we couldn’t keep pace with them. This sounds like vacation in a glass! And I’ll be trying it with aquafaba, because why not? Thank you for this delightful recipe. Reply

  • Catherine
    January 23, 2021 7:39pm

    Thank you for sharing the recipe, looking forward to making next time I can lay my hands on decent raspberries! In the meantime I have made it with Seville orange syrup (I was a bit overambitious on the marmalade front) and it was absolutely delicious. Your recipe came on my feed as the syrup was bubbling away, so it was the perfect timing and an excellent way to end a third week of homeschooling in London. Reply

  • Geoffrey Staples
    January 26, 2021 5:54am

    I’ll have to try removing the ice for an additional shake. I used to dry shake, now I do what Tom Lasher Walker told me to do: use one large chunk of ice in the shaker and shake vigorously. I get great results – even with pasteurized egg whites.

    By the way: What is that cocktail shaker in the Last Word photos? Do you like it? (Sorry to ask here, but the comments are closed on the Last Word post) Reply

    • January 26, 2021 5:33pm
      David Lebovitz

      That’s an OXO shaker. I don’t think they make it anymore but I now use a Boston shaker. Reply

      • Geoffrey Staples
        January 27, 2021 10:41pm

        Thanks.

        I have several shakers: Parisian, cobbler and Boston; insulated and not. I use them all depending on my mood.

        I may try to find the OXO just because the way it operates is interesting. Reply

  • Percy Larsen
    January 26, 2021 2:06pm

    A simpler approach to fruit syrups will immediately come to mind to people who make their own fruit jellies. Use your favorite fruit jelly and add a touch of water to heat over heat until the point it reaches the consistency of syrup. Reply

    • Geoffrey Staples
      January 26, 2021 4:42pm

      I simply mull some fresh fruit and add a little rich syrup if I need more sweetness. Also, I freeze cucumber chunks, raspberries, etc ready to be dropped in a shaker and mulled. Freezing destroys the texture, which is irrelevant when mulling, but doesn’t affect the taste. It’s an easy way to have fresh ingredients when you need them. Reply

  • Susan
    February 2, 2021 12:28am

    I have found a wonderful substitution for egg whites in cocktails: Fee Brothers “Fee Foam.” Reply

  • Candice
    February 6, 2021 4:23pm

    Made a Clover Club for me and a mocktail for the little one. It was so delicious, silky, and pretty in the glass. Followed the directions as written and used egg whites. First time making a DL cocktail and he hasn’t steered me wrong yet. Reply

  • Denise LeBlanc
    February 8, 2021 12:48am

    It’s -20C outside and the Clover Cocktail made with my late mother-in-law’s frozen raspberries is a beautiful thing. Thank you for the recipe. Reply

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