The Clover Club a Pre-Prohibition Cocktail | Santa Fe Sips

By Matt Mathai

The Clover Club, a pre-Prohibition cocktail that should be WAY more popular than it is. According to "The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book," the Clover Club Cocktail is named for the Philadelphia men's club of the same name, which met in the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel at South Broad and Walnut Streets in Center City. It was a popular hang out for "literary, legal, financial, and business lights of the Quaker City" during the late 1800s.

Published recipes for the Clover Club drink appear as early as 1917. Robert Hess claims "It has a long history dating back to at least 1910, and was enjoyed by the captains of industry who were members of the famous club." In its heyday, the drink was described by Jack Townsend as being enjoyed by the pre-prohibition gentleman who would have fit in with those of the club, and was a "Distinguished patron of the oak-paneled lounge.”

Using an unusual mix of gin and black raspberry liqueur (Chambord), the Clover Club is a tart, sweet, and very delicious drink

Two notes about the ingredients in this cocktail:

  • You will sometimes see grenadine (pomegranate syrup) used in place of the black raspberry syrup (or Chambord). Do not fall into this trap! As Gary "Gaz" Regan says about raspberry syrup in The Joy of Mixology, "without it, this drink isn't much to talk about.”

  • This cocktail uses egg whites to add foam and a creamy mouthfeel to the drink. If you’ve never had egg white in a drink (it’s a common ingredient in all kinds of sours (a large class of cocktails)) I can assure you that you can’t smell it and you can’t taste it in a properly prepared drink. Using it does require that you do a ‘dry shake’. The first shake involves just the ingredients, and serves to incorporate the egg whites into the drink. The second shake - this time with ice - makes the drink cold, adds the proper amount of dilution, and develops the beautiful foam.

If you cannot use egg whites, you can use aquafaba (chickpea liquid from a can) or buy a bottle of foaming bitters. I’ve never used either aquafaba or foaming bitters, so if they work for you, please let me know

Clover Club


  • 2 oz London Dry Gin (Beefeater)

  • ¾ oz Chambord liqueur

  • ¾ oz lemon juice

  • ½ oz simple syrup

  • 1 egg white


  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker

  • Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds

  • Add ice and shake vigorously for another 10 seconds.

  • Strain into a cocktail glass

  • Garnish with a maraschino cherry


About Matt Mathai