Savoy Cocktail of the Week: Clover Leaf Club & the Club Cocktail


First, a little history lesson.

I find myself faced with a bit of mystery regarding the Clover Club (the Clover Leaf Club is a Clover Club with mint, the Clover Club is an actual club).

According to my research, the Clover Club was formed by an elite group of Philadelphia journalists who met from the 1880s to 1920s at the Bellevue-Stratford hotel, of long and illustrious history; however, the illustration on page 49 of The Savoy Cocktail Book portrays a British gentleman, Sir Frederick Popplehaugh, Bart., of Yorkshire. To me this implies a British men’s club, like the fictional Drones Club of P.G. Wodehouse’s prolific works.

Fun fact, a baronet (abbreviated as “bart.”) is the only non-peerage hereditary title in England—meaning that a baronet is still a commoner.

The American Clover Club seems to be associated with the beverage, but I remain confused based on the clue of Sir Frederick, who does not exist according to Google.

Currently, a cocktail bar in Brooklyn has taken on the legacy of The Clover Club, serving its namesake drink alongside a menu of acclaimed libations. According to their historical information, the motto of the original club was: “Who enters here leaves care behind, leaves sorrow behind, leaves petty envies and jealousies behind.”

So, you know, ponder all that.

At any rate, the Clover Leaf Club Cocktail (gin, grenadine, egg white, lemon juice, mint) is a punchy, veranda-ready drink. The color of Hawaiian punch with a foamy egg white top, the drink was enjoyable, had a nice citrus zip to it from the lemon juice, and was overall enjoyed. As a fan of mint, I chose to make the garnished version of the drink, but either way, it’s a good party cocktail. Well received all around, although it’s connection to a men’s club was surprising to me based on the non-cigar-smoking-type contents of the glass.

The Club Cocktail on the other hand tasted just as one might expect a Pre-War men’s club beverage to taste. Gin, Italian Vermouth and Yellow Chartreuse combined to the color of a brandy-based beverage, like a Sidecar, and had a serious, spicy flavor to it. Definitely a cocktail for sipping (whereas the Clover can be merrily slung back). Keeping it cold was key to enjoyment; I recommend small servings so as not to end up with a glass of harsh, room-temperature Club.

Up next week?

Cowboy Cocktail

2/3 Whiskey
1/3 Cream
Cracked Ice

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Go forth and embrace your inner gunslinger.

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Filed under Savoy Cocktail Book Project

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