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Clover Club Cocktail – A Philadelphia Classic

This Clover Club cocktail is simultaneously sweet and tart. Learn how to make this frothy pre-prohibition cocktail at home in just five minutes.

Check out 10 great summer sippers you can make at home. Our easy cocktail recipes will keep you cool until it’s time for winter warmers.

Crafted Clover Club Cocktail

Our quest to travel the world through cocktails has taken us home. Well, not literally. Hear us out…

As it turn out, the Clover Club cocktail was originally created just one mile from where we lived in Philadelphia for a decade. While we didn’t actually drink Clover Clubs when we lived in Philadelphia, the pre-prohibition cocktail still reminds us of home.

Clover Club Cocktail History

Clover Club Ingredients
The Clover Club cocktail gets its name from Philadelphia’s now defunct male-only Clover Club.

The origin story of many cocktails is fuzzy. The Clover Club is not one of those cocktails. Instead, this is a classic cocktail with a definitive birth at Philadelphia’s Clover Club.

Formed in 1882, the Clover Club met on Philadelphia’s Broad Street in the historic Bellevue-Stratford building that currently functions as a luxury Hyatt Hotel and offices. Beyond drinking cocktails, members of this club lived by the following motto: Who enters here leaves care behind, leaves sorrow behind, leaves petty envies and jealousies behind.

Despite its altruistic ambitions, The Clover Club didn’t survive prohibition or the 19th amendment. However, the pink drink named after the now defunct club lives on in bars and lounges around the world.

Fun Fact

Prior to prohibition and women’s suffrage, joining male-only clubs like the Clover Club were the norm for lawyers, journalists, bankers and other gentrified white men of privilege. Apparently these captains of industry liked to drink and weren’t concerned about the color of their cocktails.

Clover Club Cocktail Ingredients

Clover Club Mise en Place
The only required ingredients for a Clover Club cocktail are gin, grenadine, fresh lemon juice, an egg white and ice.

The Clover Cub hits our sweet spot as a cocktail with just five ingredients including ice. These are the only ingredients required for the Clover Club recipe:

  • Gin
  • Grenadine Syrup
  • Egg White
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Ice

Pro Tip

You don’t need any fancy equipment to craft a Clover Club cocktail. All you need is a jigger, shaker and knife.

Grenadine and Gin for Clover Club Cocktail Recipe
You probably already have grenadine and gin at home. These are the bottles that we pulled from our pantry.

Some recipes replace grenadine syrup with raspberry syrup. We choose to use grenadine for two reasons – it’s true to the original Philadelphia recipe and it’s an ingredient that lazy mixologists like us typically have at home.

In terms of gin, we typically use original Bombay dry London gin in this recipe. It reminds of our visit to the Bombay Sapphire distillery in England, plus we can easily find Bombay gin at local Lisbon liquor stores. However, you can use your favorite gin instead.

Pro Tip

If you’re located in the United States, go the extra mile and use Bluecoat gin to craft your Clover Club cocktail. Not only is it America’s original dry gin, but it’s also distilled in Philadelphia.

Clover Club Cocktail Variations

Pouring Grenadine for Clover Club Cocktail
Grenadine syrup gives the Clover Club cocktail its fun pink hue.

The Clover Club is a sour gin cocktail in the same family as the Bee’s Knees and Tom Collins. We recommend you follow our classic Clover Club recipe before you try one or more of the following variations:

  • Use raspberry syrup instead of grenadine.
  • Go one step further and use homemade syrup made with fresh raspberries.
  • Add muddled raspberries.
  • Add vermouth to balance the flavor.

How to Make a Clover Club Cocktail

Clover Club Cocktail on Ledge at Night
The Clover Club is an ideal evening drink. We drank this one at home while we watched a Lisbon summer sunset.

Crafting a Clover Club cocktail is both easy and fast. Beyond squeezing fresh lemon juice and separating an egg white, these are the only required steps:

  • Dry shake the ingredients without ice in a cocktail shaker.
  • Shake a second time with ice.
  • Strain into a coupe glass.
Egg Yolk in Shell
Separating out the egg white is the most complicated aspect of crafting a Clover Club cocktail. However, home cooks won’t find this to be a challenge.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t address the elephant in the room, i.e. the inclusion of a raw egg white. To avoid any stomach discomfort, you’ll want to use the freshest available eggs for this recipe. You can use a pasteurized egg white in lieu of a fresh egg white if you’re squeamish.

The egg white is an important ingredient not for flavor but rather for achieving froth during the dry shake. But what is a dry shake?

Dry Shake Explanation

The phrase dry shake refers to shaking a cocktail without ice. Typical in cocktail recipes with raw eggs, dry shaking causes the eggs to emulsify into a frothy foam.

Clover Club inside Shaker
We developed this froth after dry shaking the ingredients in a cocktail shaker.

You’re now ready to make your own Clover Club at home! Sure, you could order this classic cocktail at a bar in Philadelphia or New York, but making one at home is highly satisfying not to mention cost effective.

Clover Club Cocktail on Ledge at Night

Clover Club Cocktail

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

This frothy pre-prohibition cocktail is simultaneously sweet and tart. Learn how to make one at home in just five minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. gin (2 small jiggers)
  • 1/2 oz. grenadine (or raspberry syrup)
  • 3/4 oz. lemon juice (approx. 1/2 medium lemon) + lemon peel for garnish
  • 1 egg white
  • ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Combine gin, grenadine (or raspberry syrup), lemon juice and egg white in a shaker.
  2. Shake vigorously until ingredients are mixed and egg white emulsifies.
  3. Add several ice cubes and shake again until the liquid is chilled.
  4. Strain into a coupe glass.
  5. Add lemon twist as garnish.

Notes

  • Slice the lemon twist from the lemon peel before you squeeze out the lemon juice.
  • You can use fresh raspberries as garnish instead of or in addition to the lemon twist
  • We like to use a coupe glass but a small martini glass will work too.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 378Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 107mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 2gSugar: 36gProtein: 4g

Nutrition Disclosure: We used an online calculator to calculate this information. Though 2foodtrippers.com has attempted to secure accurate data, these nutritional figures are estimates.

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Thirsty for More?

Check out our Bee’s Knees, Caipirinha, Daiquiri, French 75, G+T, Mauresque, Mojito, Negroni, Porto Tonico and Spicy Margarita cocktail recipes.

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About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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