A Question About the Clover Club: Raspberry Syrup or Raspberry Liqueur?
An eggy, fluffy, raspberry-inflected gin sour, made two ways.
In addition to writing about cocktails, I also sometimes like to talk about cocktails, especially with other people who enjoy making drinks at home.
You can hear me discuss the ins and outs of home bartending with fellow Substacker Josh Barro on his excellent podcast, Very Serious. Topics include: improving the Aviation, using salt in cocktails, batching and party strategies for home bartenders, and why there’s a probably good idea buried in even the worst cocktail.
Fruit liqueurs obviously aren’t syrups, but they often function in similar ways. What that means is that is, in some cases, drinks that are traditionally made with fruit syrups can be made with fruit liqueurs instead.
Case in point, the Clover Club.
Like the Aviation, the Clover Club is a great springtime drink. It’s a gin sour with an additional flavor element — in this case, raspberry, which typically comes from a homemade raspberry syrup. You can easily make your own raspberry syrup at home, and there are advantages to doing so. But you can also just use high-quality raspberry liqueur, which has a different set of advantages.
Like LCD Soundsystem sings, there’s advantages to both. (Advantages to both.)
So today we’re going to make the drink both ways, and learn about why you might choose one method over the other, depending on your time, goals, and circumstances. So much of home bartending is about understanding substitutions and various use-cases for different ingredients, and this is one of those drinks that is both fun to make and, once you work through it, teaches some discrete but useful lessons.
Clover, Not a Fighter
The Clover Club is a pre-Prohibition drink that mostly disappeared from cocktail repertoires for a long time, then came back as part of the cocktail renaissance during the mid 00s, when it featured in a number of well-regarded cocktail books.
Like the Aviation, this is a drink that is hard to botch completely, but can be slightly difficult to get just right, as it depends on a fairly delicate balance of sweet and sour.
Unlike the Aviation, this drink also has some egg white in it. That means it’s a little bit more work to make. But the fluffy, pillow-like texture you get at the end is so, so worth it.