Clover Club

Difford's Guide
Discerning Drinkers (54 ratings)

Serve in a

Coupe glass

Garnish:

Express lemon zest twist over cocktail and discard. Float raspberry in centre of drink

How to make:

SHAKE all ingredients with ice and strain back into shaker. DRY SHAKE (without ice) and fine strain into chilled glass.

1 1/2 fl oz Hayman's London Dry Gin
1/2 fl oz Strucchi Dry Vermouth
1/2 fl oz Raspberry (framboise) sugar syrup
1/3 fl oz Lime juice (freshly squeezed)
1/3 fl oz Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
1/2 fl oz Pasteurised egg white or Aquafaba (chickpea water) or 3 dashes Fee Brothers Fee Foam cocktail foamer
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Read about cocktail measures and measuring.

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Hazardous ingredients

Pasteurised egg white is potentially hazardous to those with allergy or intolerance.

Review:

Gin-laced, sweet 'n' sour with a fruity blast of rich raspberry toned by dry vermouth.

Depending on your raspberry syrup, the finished cocktail may range in colour from a shade of pale yellow to a tinge of pink through to pink red (the cocktail above was photographed made with homemade syrup). You may need to vary the measure of syrup from 12.5ml to as much as 20ml (2/3 oz): this is as much dependent on personal taste as your choice of raspberry syrup.

History:

The Clover Club cocktail is eponymously named after a club founded in 1896 by a group of prominent Philadelphia journalists who met regularly at Philadelphia's Bellevue-Stratford Hotel from when it opened in 1904. Over time, the club's membership expanded to include lawyers, bankers and prominent businessmen.

The Clover Club cocktail is ostensibly the same as the Clover Leaf cocktail, and historians trade newly unearthed quotations to argue one predates the other. The earliest recipe for a Clover Leaf (I have found) is in Jacob Abraham Grohusko's 1908 Jack's Manual. This 1908 origin is confirmed by a quote from 8th July 1908 New York Herald, "A party of Philadelphians introduced a new appetizer at the Plaza last evening called a clover leaf cocktail."

The Oxford Companion to Spirits And Cocktails references a 1901 recipe by Michael Killackey, head bartender at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, published in the New York Press on 21st June 1901, but neither I nor others have been able to find this. [If you can help this newspaper's name, please let me know.]

The Clover Club Cocktail appears in Paul E. Lowe's 1909 book Drinks: how to mix and how to serve but with the lemon juice omitted from the recipe, although this is thought to be a transcription mistake. The cocktail does not feature in Lowe's earlier 1904 Drinks as they are Mixed but a toast from the club does feature in the book.

CLOVER CLUB'S TOAST.
Here's to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and a happy one,
A good girl and a pretty one,
A cold bottle and another one.

Say, why did Time,
His glass sublime,
Fill up with sand unsightly,
When wine he knew
Runs brisker through
And sparkles far more brightly?

Paul E. Lowe, Drinks as they are Mixed, 1904

Clover Club Cocktail.
Fill large bar glass ½ full fine ice.
½ pony raspberry syrup.
½ jigger dry gin.
½ jigger French Vermouth.
White of 1 egg.
Shake well; strain into cocktail glass and serve.

Drinks - how to mix and how to serve, 1909

On 29th April 1909, the New York Herald reports, "A beverage, not new but appropriate for warm days, is the "Clover Club cocktail." It is mild and refreshing. The recipe came from Philadelphia. The ingredients are the white of an egg, one-half a lemon, one-half a lime, a "jigger" of Plymouth gin, a teaspoonful of sugar and a pony of grenadine. These are frapped well and then there is "a dash of the syphon on top to make the egg rise," as the bartender expressed it in technical terms, and a decoration of a sprig of mint."

The second oldest known Clover Club recipe in a cocktail book appears in the anonymously written 1910 101 Drinks and How to Mix Them.

CLOVER CLUB
We recommend this the next time you entertain the Friday Afternoon Sewing Guild. The lady who can still thread a needle after two drinks wins the Grand Prix. Also good for corn-husking bees.
One part Gin
One-half part Grenadine
Juice of half a lime
White of one egg
Frappe and strain into cocktail glass into which has been dropped a maraschino cherry.

101 Drinks and How to Mix Them, 1910

A 1911 piece in The Argonaut newspaper also stipulates Philadelphia as being the origin.

A favorite drink in New York at the present moment is called the Clover Club cocktail. It comes, as do many good things, from Philadelphia. The Clover Club cocktail is popular with the ladies, for it is not as treacherous as a Bronx, which, up to this time, has been the favorite, or a Dry Martini, which always holds its own. It is pretty to look at, being of a pale pink color with a little white froth on the top, and with a bit of green for decoration rather than the familiar maraschino cherry. The Clover Club cocktail has the advantage, if advantage it be, over other cocktails, that it does not come ready mixed. It must be mixed on the premises, for there is a dash of egg in it, and a bottled egg would never do for the fastidious.

The Argonaut, 13/May/1911

In his 1931 Old Waldorf Bar Days Albert Stevens Crockett also credits the creation of this cocktail to Philadelphia's Bellevue-Stratford Hotel (where the club met). However, the Oxford Companion's 1901 reference predates the 1904 opening of Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. Remember, the club was founded in 1896.

Although its creator is unknown, Michael Killackey is thought to have played a key role in the cocktail being popularised at the Waldorf-Astoria from where it found its way into other New York City bars.

What's the difference between a Clover Club and a Clover Leaf?
In essence, the Clover Club and Clover Leaf are one and the same with various similar recipes coexisting since 1909. However, in his 1930 The Savoy Cocktail Book, Harry Craddock states a Clover Leaf Cocktail is "The same as Clover Club, with a sprig of fresh Mint on top" and so for most it is merely the decoration that distinguishes the two cocktails apart.

The earliest cocktail recipe book to carry recipes for both a Clover Club and a Clover Leaf is the 1910 third edition of Jacob Abraham Grohusko's Jack's Bar Manual. As mentioned above, the Clover Leaf also appears in his 1908 first edition. Hence, the 1908 Jack's Bar Manual strengthens the argument that the Leaf predates the Club while the third 1910 edition handily defines the difference between the two cocktails – both are gin-based with egg white, and mint, but the Clover Leaf is sweetened with grenadine while the Clover Club uses raspberry syrup and additionally has lime, lemon and orange juice. [Both recipes also appear in his 1910 second edition but confusingly he names both recipes Clover Leaf – let's assume this was a simple naming error!]

CLOVER CLUB COCKTAIL
White of 1 egg
Juice ½ lime
Juice ½ lemon
Juice ½ orange
1 tablespoon raspberry syrup
100% dry gin
1 sprig fresh mint
Fill glass with broken ice, shake, strain and serve.

CLOVER LEAF COCKTAIL
In genuine old-fashioned American hot weather nothing seems to tickle the palate like a good American drink, and the kind selected generally indicates the characteristics of the person drinking. In winter a man will take almost anything that happens to be the fad for the moment, whether highly flavored or not, but in summer the demand is for something that will quench the thirst, whether beer, lemonade or gin rickey or some other beverage. The Clover Leaf is said to be popular in the city of brotherly love. Certainly it is decorative, for it has a soft orchid color, with a rim of white.
Drink is made of:
100% dry gin
10 dashes grenadine
White of an egg
1 sprig of mint
Fill glass with cracked ice, shake well, strain in champagne glass and serve.

Jacob Abraham Grohusko, Jack's Manual, 1910

Nutrition:

One serving of Clover Club contains 174 calories.

Alcohol content:

  • 1.2 standard drinks
  • 15.57% alc./vol. (31.14° proof)
  • 17.1 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Buy direct from
the_whisky_exchange store logo
£ -.--

Makes a minimum of ... cocktails
Just £ -.-- per cocktail*

* This list may not include all required ingredients.
Price per cocktail is an estimate based on the cost of making one cocktail with the available ingredients shown above and does not include any postage charges.
Buy direct from Difford’s Guide
Difford's Easy Jigger
£8.72 £8.72 exc VAT
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