Ah, raspberries. Perhaps my favourite summer fruit. I’m not typically an enormous advocate of fruity cocktails (I prefer ‘em punchy and boozy) but the Clover Club is an exception. A sharp, gin-fuelled affair, it is fruity in the correct way: it is not sweet, it is not banal, and the fruit isn’t masking the complexities of the alcohol.
It’s essentially a raspberry martini. And you know how I feel about martinis.
The Clover Club is a cocktail to wheel out when you’re sitting in the garden on a sunny evening. It’s a bloody excellent crowd-pleaser, too — more accessible than a martini, and good looking to boot.
There are a bunch of different recipes, some of which involve stewing raspberries and such malarkey. Don’t bother. I think it works better (and it’s certainly a whole lot simpler) using good raspberry jam. Here’s how I do it, anyway.
Clover Club Recipe
- 3 parts gin (a classic London gin is best: Tanqueray, Gordon’s, etc)
- 1 part dry vermouth (Noilly Prat or Dolin are both good)
- 1½ parts lemon juice (freshly squeezed, natch)
- ½ part raspberry jam
- Raspberry or lemon twist
Chuck the above ingredients except the last into a cocktail shaker, fill it with good chunky (solid) blocks of ice, then shake for 20 seconds or so.
Strain the resulting liquor (innit pretty?) into a cocktail glass you’ve whipped from your freezer (a Nick & Nora glass is lovely). For a nice, smooth result, you can double-strain it (ie. pour from the cocktail shaker strainer through a finer sieve into the glass). But it’s by no means disastrous if you can’t be bothered to do that.
You get top marks if you have a fresh raspberry or two with which to garnish this, but in the absence thereof, a twist of lemon peel will do just fine.
One of summer’s best cocktails.