The Pegu Club, Cocktail

That’s the Pegu Club Cocktail, not the club. I came across this cocktail in Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails, but there tons of other recipes out there. For a complete history of the Pegu Club Cocktail, see Musings on Cocktails, where he even quotes from Orwell’s novel about Burma. You see, there was a Pegu Club in Burma, and this drink came from there, at least according to most sources. Musings even gives a few different versions and describes what he likes best.

But forget that for now; you can go read the history later. Let’s talk drink.

Combine with ice:

  • 1 1/2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

shake well, and strain into a chilled glass. I also added two dashes of orange bitters because, well, I love that stuff.

The first sip is, as my wife says, a ghost cocktail. The cold is there, with a little flavor, but nothing resembling a cocktail. Then the lemon hits, and it’s sour. But that’s only at the back of the mouth. The front of the mouth is pleased with this cold wash and feels almost refreshed. The lack of any additional sugar (except from the orange liqueur) make it a very simple drink on the front. But then, when the back hits, you begin to notice some of the bitterness, too, with some slightly herbal notes, with a bit of liquor bite at the end.

Overall, a balanced drink that deserves  its place in the pantheon.

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