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Try the classic Clover Club cocktail! It’s tangy and bright pink, with raspberry or grenadine syrup, gin, and an egg white foam on top.

Clover club cocktail
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Here’s a sophisticated classic cocktail that steals the show: the Clover Club! This bright pink drink stems back before Prohibition, but it’s just as en vogue today. Sweet raspberry or grenadine syrup combine with zingy lemon and gin to make a perfectly balanced sweet tart drink. The best part: a classic egg white foam gives a creamy body and frothy texture to each sip! This one’s a unique gin cocktail that’s just plain fun.

What’s a Clover Club cocktail?

The Clover Club cocktail is a tangy gin sour cocktail that was first recorded in print in 1908. It was named after a gentleman’s club in Philadelphia called the Clover Club, which included prominent lawyers, writers, and politicians. Later the drink fell out of fashion, but it’s come back in style today with the revival of classic cocktails! Interestingly, the drink was originally made with grenadine but today is made with raspberry syrup.

This drink is a classic cocktail on the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, meaning it has an official definition. The ingredients in a Clover Club cocktail are:

  • Gin
  • Raspberry syrup or grenadine
  • Lemon juice
  • Egg white
Raspberry syrup

How to make raspberry syrup

By 1917, recipes for the Clover Club started to include raspberry syrup, though the drink was originally made with grenadine. You can buy it at a liquor store or online, but it’s more fun to make it at home! Here are the basic steps to homemade raspberry syrup:

  • Place 1 cup sugar and ½ cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook about 1 minute until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add ½ cup raspberries and cook until the berries break down, about 5 to 6 minutes, turning the heat to low when it starts to boil. Break down the berries with a spatula as needed. Once fully liquid, strain into a jar using a fine mesh sieve and a spatula. Allow to cool. Store refrigerated for up to 3 weeks: the flavor is best when it’s fresh.

What else to use it in? Try raspberry cocktails like the Raspberry Martini, Raspberry Lime Rickey, and Floradora.

Grenadine syrup
Try homemade grenadine syrup made with pomegranate seeds

Or, make it with grenadine!

Many cocktail connoisseurs will tell you that it’s not a Clover Club unless it’s made with raspberry syrup. But in our research we found a recipe for the Clover Club was printed in the Pittsburgh Press in 1909*. The ingredient list included an egg white, lemon, lime, gin, sugar, and “a pony of grenadine.” Yes, that’s right: grenadine was included in the original version of the Clover Club cocktail!

Grenadine is a sweet tart syrup used in cocktails that’s bright red in color. It’s easy to find, which is why it’s a nice alternative for the Clover Club. You also don’t need to find fresh raspberries to make syrup, or look for specialty raspberry syrup at the store. A few things about grenadine:

  • It made with pomegranate. Many people think it’s cherry flavored, but it’s actually made from pomegranate.
  • You can make it at home. Try our homemade grenadine! It’s easy to make an has none of the artificial colors and additives.
  • It’s used in other popular cocktails. It’s most famously used in grenadine cocktails like the non-alcoholic Shirley Temple, the Singapore Sling, and the vibrant Tequila Sunrise.

*Per The Last Night on the Titanic by Veronica Hinke

How to make a Clover Club cocktail (basic steps)

Once you’ve decided on grenadine vs raspberry syrup, making a Clover Club cocktail is a breeze! Here are the basic steps (or jump to the recipe):

  1. Dry shake: Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake for 15 seconds without ice.
  2. Shake: Add ice to the cocktail shaker and shake again for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain: Strain into a glass and garnish. Voila!
Clover Club cocktail

What’s a dry shake?

Bartenders have added egg whites to cocktails since the 1860’s. Why? They add a frothy texture to each sip, and a creamy rich flavor. The best frothy egg white form is achieved by doing what’s called a dry shake. You’ll use this in lots of classic cocktail recipes with egg whites like the Gin Fizz, Amaretto Sour, and Boston Sour. Here’s how it works:

  • The first shake without ice lets the protein in the egg begin to form foam, instead of being diluted by the ice.
  • The second shake with ice cools the drink and strengthens the foam. Strain it into the glass and you’ll get a thick, white frothy layer.

Types of gin

The general rule around gin cocktails: the better the gin, the better the drink. Try not to buy the cheapest gin you can find for the Clover Club. We recommend investing in a mid-price range gin: the drink will only taste as good as the gin you invest in. Here are a few tips for choosing a brand of gin:

  • MalfyAviationand Beefeater London Dry have a developed, botanical flavor that blends well in cocktails.
  • Locally distilled gin is a great option. In Indianapolis, we like 8th Day Distillery, Hotel Tango, and Hi & Mighty Gin.
  • Steer clear of strong-flavored sipping gins in cocktails. For us this includes brands like Tanqueray gin (very floral) and Opihr gin (spice-forward). These types of gin can overpower the subtlety in many mixed drinks.
Clover Club cocktail

More sour cocktails

The Clover Club is a sour cocktail: one in the family of drinks that combine liquor, citrus, and sweetener. Here are a few more related sour cocktails:

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Clover club cocktail

Clover Club Cocktail


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
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Description

Try the classic Clover Club cocktail! It’s tangy and bright pink, with raspberry or grenadine syrup, gin, and an egg white foam on top.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) gin
  • ¾ ounce (1 ½ tablespoon) raspberry syrup or grenadine syrup (purchased or homemade)
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white*
  • For the garnish: lemon twist, fresh raspberries (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add the gin, raspberry syrup or grenadine, lemon juice, and egg white to a cocktail shaker without ice. Shake for 15 seconds.
  2. Add the ice to the cocktail shaker. Shake again for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass; the foam will collect at the top. Garnish with a lemon twist or fresh raspberries.

Notes

*Substitute 2 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas) for a vegan variation.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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5 Comments

  1. Lyss says:

    3 oz! Yikes, how to modify if you don’t want a triple?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      I would just split between two drinks, since it uses 1 egg white.

  2. Liz says:

    This is a great drink and the recipe is very good, but with homemade raspberry syrup with a 2 sugar to 1 ratio of sugar to water I only needed 1/2 oz of the syrup. Otherwise I think it would have been awfully sweet for my palate.






  3. Andy says:

    How do yall get the vibrant red in the photo? Mine looks gorgeous with the egg white/aquafaba foam BUT it is more of a muted pink than that deep reddish pink. Is it from the grenadine? I use your raspberry simple recipe instead of homemade/store-bought grenadine.

    BUT the cocktail is very well balanced. I really like it both ways. Although if you make it with grenadine it has a very sweet cotton candy flavor, with a more intense finish. I feel like raspberry syrup is the way to go. The syrup is a lot less sweet than most grenadines you’ll find store bought (*COUGH* ROSES) but the tartness of the lemon juice and raspberry really hide the bite of the gin, which may be a bad thing if you like your drinks a bit more spirit forward, but it makes for a drink that is DANGEROUSLY easy to drink. Gonna have to try it with homemade grenadine! Maybe that’s what will give it a more vibrant reddish pink color?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Yes purchased grenadine makes for the brightest colored drink! Our homemade grenadine recipe has a pretty good color — we found that using pomegranate seeds instead of homemade juice makes the best color. We agree that many purchased grenadines are so syrupy sweet! But of course the artificial colors make a very vibrant drink. Let us know if you try our homemade grenadine :)