Yet another stalwart of a good bartender’s repertoire is a delightfully sweet, foamy pink drink – the Clover Club. Thought to have first been concocted in the Philadelphia men’s club of the same name towards the end of the 19th century, this cocktail was once the go to tipple for toasting and celebrating.
However, a damning 1934 Esquire article ranking the drink amongst the 10 worst cocktails in existence brought about a demise to the Clover Club’s popularity for over 70 years. Thankfully, since the mid-noughties, it has seen a renaissance and can once again be found on cocktail menus the world over.
How do you make a Clover Club?
The Clover Club is a raspberry-led take on a classic gin sour, with tart citrus notes from lemon juice balancing the dryness of a juniper-heavy London Dry and the sweetness of the raspberry liqueur.
Raw egg white is a pivotal ingredient, which can often put amateur mixologists off attempting this and many other cocktails, but you shouldn’t let it deter you from giving this delectable concoction a try. Egg white is used to give the drink a thicker texture, a velvety mouthfeel and the trademark white foamy head, which stands out from the deep rose pink of the rest of the cocktail.
The most important step in making a cocktail which includes egg white is to ‘dry shake’ the ingredients for a good 10 seconds before adding ice and shaking again, in order to allow the proteins to begin unfolding and foaming effectively. Adding ice before the first shake would cause the egg white to get too cold, making it resistant to whipping and frothing. The resultant drink would likely be somewhat gloopy and slimy, or you would have sore arms from having to shake it for so long. To find out more about the science behind using egg whites in cocktails, check out this article from Thrillist.
Our recommended recipe for the Clover Club is to add 50ml 6 O’clock Gin London Dry, 15ml lemon juice, 15ml Bramley & Gage Dry Vermouth, 10ml Bramley & Gage Raspberry Gin Liqueur and one egg white to a Boston shaker and dry shake for 10-15 seconds. Open the shaker and fill with ice, before shaking for a further 10 seconds to chill the drink. Use a Hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh strainer to ‘double strain’ the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass, and garnish with fresh raspberries.
Can you make a Clover Club without egg white?
It goes without saying that the classic recipe for the Clover Club isn’t suitable for vegans or anyone with an intolerance or allergy to eggs. However, do not fear – a simple store cupboard staple is a great substitute.
Aquafaba – more commonly known as the water in a can of chickpeas – is a starchy liquid which whips and creates a foam in a very similar way to egg whites. Simply substitute each egg white used in the recipe with 30ml aquafaba and prolong your dry shake for a further 5-10 seconds to ensure the liquid gets good and frothy before adding the ice. The nutty flavour and aroma of chickpeas will be neutralised by the other ingredients in your cocktail, leaving you with an equally delicious result as you would get using egg white.
Whichever version you decide to make, do bear in mind that mastering cocktails which include egg white or a similar substance will take practice. You may not get the technique quite right the first time, but do persevere – it will all be worth it in the end. The Clover Club is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and your party guests are sure to be wowed by their friend’s skills as a modern-day mixologist – cheers!