Clover Club – Embury

1 part grenadine or raspberry syrup

2 parts lemon juice

8 parts gin

1 egg white to each 2 drinks

Some recipe books prescribe 1 part each of French and Italian vermouth in addition to the lemon juice. This is incorrect and results in a much inferior cocktail.

Follow directions for mixing Montreal Gin Sour, page 111

“Put all the ingredients except the gin in the shaker with cracked ice. Shake vigorously until thoroughly blended and creamy. Add ¼ to ½ the gin and combine, then add balance of gin and shake. Strain into chilled cocktail glass.”

This same cocktail with a small sprig of mint floated on top of the drink is called a CLOVER LEAF

Today was a perfect Moscow day, after a typically late start (we’ve not even vaguely tried to adjust to Russian time) we had lunch with a friend at Dr Zhivago (, a beautifully contemporary Russian restaurant with views towards the Kremlin and the red square. The food was the best (not home cooked) Russian food I have had so far. I had chicken Kiev as despite the name irony it seems to be one of the most Russian dishes I could think of 15 years ago, and this was easily the best I’ve tried. If you go to Moscow, please go here.

The cocktail list was a depressingly sponsored affair, with a few with a little more creativity, its rare you see ‘fir cones’ as a cocktail ingredient. Sitting incongruously among these was a Clover Club.

I love a Clover Club, it’s a classic sour recipe, that’s dangerously easy to drink. below is the version at Dr Zhivago. This was unfortunately not a great clover club, I’m pretty sure they’d used raspberry puree, and the drink tasted more just like a thick sour raspberry smoothie than a Clover Club. It was very pretty though, and if I was mean, I suspect it had found its way onto the list, in this version, more to match the interior of the restaurant (which is stunning) than as a nod to a great tasting classic.


I’m also going to go out on a limb and disagree with Mr Embury, something I’m only brave enough to do as he passed away almost 70 years ago now. I prefer this drink with Italian vermouth in. Just the Italian, I use Carpano Antica Formula, and I find the vanilla notes and the rich red add colour and depth of flavour to Embury’s recipe. I’m note sure why you’d put French in as well, but to be honest I’ve not tried.

I’m also not sure on the procedure of shaking some of the ingredients, then adding the gin and shaking the rest, in the Montreal sour it uses a whole egg, so this could be a precursor to the ‘Dry Shaking’ epidemic which seems to have afflicted bartenders recently. This refers to shaking the ingredients without ice, then shaking it with ice. It helps the emulsification bought on by the egg white, and makes for light fluffy drinks, or at least that’s what some bartenders would say. You could just shake it with ice for a fraction longer and achieve the same thing in half the time, but each to their own.

The Clover club was a gentleman’s club in Philadelphia which used to meet in the Bellevue Hotel from 1896 until sometime in the 1920’s. the fact that they have a drink named after it, and in there 1904 ‘souvenir’ there is many a reference to drinking, makes me wonder if prohibition sucked the fun out of the club, and caused a premature disbandment.

This should be a light fluffy sour drink, its on our list at Goat, and I’d thoroughly recommend it for the home bartender.