The Clover Club is a classic gin cocktail that’s as delicious as it is beautiful. Made with a blend of gin, raspberry syrup, dry vermouth, lemon juice, and a rich egg white foam, the Clover Club is a fruity yet complex cocktail that just about everyone will love.
History of the Clover Club
The Clover Club cocktail first appeared on the scene sometime in the early 1900s and it was included in the 1917 book The Ideal Bartender by Thomas Bullock. Although many modern versions of the cocktail omit it, that first printed recipe calls for the inclusion of dry vermouth along with gin, lemon, raspberry syrup, and egg white.
You can certainly enjoy the drink without that half ounce of vermouth, but I recommend trying it with – it really does add a beautiful layer to the finished drink! Not much is known about the exact origin of the Clover Club, but it was apparently named for a Philadelphia gentleman’s club of the same name.
What’s in it:
The Clover Club is made from a shaken blend of:
- Dry vermouth
- Raspberry syrup
- Lemon juice
- Egg white
How to make it:
Because it’s made with fruit juice and egg whites, the Clover Club is a shaken cocktail (rather than stirred). However, there are a few options when it comes to exactly how you choose to shake it up.
Shake, shake, shake
The first method is the easiest. Simply add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add plenty of ice, and shake hard until the drink is thoroughly chilled. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass and enjoy. This method is the quickest but will have the least amount of foam on top.
The second method adds another round of shaking in order to build up the foamy head and create a richer mouthfeel. Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker without ice, shake hard for about 30 seconds, then add ice, shake until chilled, and strain.
This initial shake without ice is called a ‘dry shake’. This is the method of shaking cocktails with egg whites that I have used most often, but there is one drawback (other than having pretty tired arms afterward).
The pressure created by shaking the cocktail without ice in a sealed shaker often causes the shaker to very suddenly unseal, resulting in leaking and sticky messes. You can avoid this potential issue and some say create even nicer foam by using the third method.
Reverse dry shake
To reverse dry shake, add all ingredients except the egg white to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until thoroughly chilled. Now, remove the ice cubes from the shaker. I like to strain the cocktail into a spare glass, then dump the ice and pour the cocktail back into the shaker.
Next, add the egg white to the shaker, seal it, and shake hard for about 30 seconds or so. Strain the cocktail into a coupe glass and enjoy the super frothy foam on top.
Because the liquid is already very cold, it does not create the same kind of intense pressure that a regular room temperature dry shake does. This allows the shaker’s seal to stay intact throughout the process, resulting in less potential mess.
How to make raspberry syrup
If you’re a regular home bartender, chances are you’ve made simple syrup or maybe a flavored syrup before. If not, don’t worry – making syrups isn’t difficult and it doesn’t have to be complicated!
And once you’ve whipped up a batch of that delicious fruity syrup, here are some other cocktails to make with it:
Recipe substitutions and variations
If you don’t have dry vermouth, you can make a modified version of the Clover Club and it will still be delicious, although a bit less interesting. If omitting the vermouth, increase the syrup and lemon to 3/4 oz each.
If you don’t want to make your own raspberry syrup, I recommend purchasing a high quality brand like Liber & Co. Their Raspberry Gum Syrup is fantastic. “Gum” refers to gum arabic, also called acacia gum, which is a natural gum that comes from the acacia tree. Syrups made with acacia gum lend an extra smooth, silky texture to cocktails.
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Some Clover Club variations call for grenadine instead of raspberry syrup. I’m a raspberry syrup fan personally, but if you have some high quality (read: REAL) grenadine on hand, give it a go.
Don’t want to use egg whites? I get it, some folks just aren’t a fan of raw eggs in their cocktails. You can opt to use pasteurized whites if you’re concerned with safety.
If you need a vegan option, try replacing the egg white with a half ounce of aquafaba. Aquafaba is the water from a can of garbanzo beans and it produces a nice egg-free foam. Make sure to choose low sodium canned beans for the best tasting aquafaba.
Other gin cocktails to try:
- 1.5 oz gin
- 1/2 oz dry vermouth
- 1/2 oz raspberry syrup
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice. Shake hard for about 30 seconds to build the foam.
- Add ice to the shaker and shake until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with raspberries on a cocktail pick.