The Pegu Club was created in the 1920′s at the Pegu Club in Rangoon. At the time, the Pegu Club was a gentleman’s club in the British controlled province of Burma. Back then, most bars featured a house cocktail, and unlike many of them, the Pegu Club gained fame outside of its creator’s walls, and has become increasingly popular even today.
As the drink presented in Vintage Spirits differs from most of the other classic recipes that I have seen, I will present both, although the one I put together for myself stayed true to the printing in the book. The main difference between the two versions is the type of orange liqueur used. While the classic recipe seems to call for Orange Curacao, the Vintage Spirits recipe calls for Cointreau, a proprietary triple sec.
The Pegu Club (Original Recipe?)
2 oz London Dry Gin
3/4 oz Orange Curacao
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Orange Bitters
The Pegu Club (Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails)
1 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lime Juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
I think that these two drinks differ enough in proportions and ingredients to have two different flavor profiles. Which is better? I suppose that is a matter of personal preference. I have only tried the one version as of yet, so let me know if you have an opinion.
First appearing in The Gentleman’s Companion, or Around the World with Jigger, Beaker and Flask (1939) by Charles Baker, The Alamagoozlum Cocktail is the next exploration of the vintage spirits. Reportedly created by the one and only J.P. Morgan, this is an unusual drink in that it calls for an extraordinary amount of ingredients, as well as an unusually large dose of bitters.
This particular cocktail will probably be one that I will leave to the books and not partake of for a long time, if ever. While I am a fan of gin and rum together, as well as using egg whites in cocktails, The large amount of bitters, coupled with the chartreuse created a drink that for me was far too spicy and complex. Perhaps either dialing down the bitters, and/or reducing the Chartreuse may create a drink more to my liking, but as far as J.P.’s cocktail, this one is a bust for me.
1/2 Egg White
2 oz Genever Gin
2 oz water
1 1/2 oz Jamaican Rum
1 1/2 oz Chartreuse
1 1/2 oz gomme Syrup
1/2 oz Orange Curacao
1/2 oz Angostura Bitters
Shake long and hard in an iced cocktail shaker, and strain into several chilled glasses.
A note on gomme syrup. Gomme syrup is purely simple syrup combined with gum arabic. The gum arabic was added to the simple syrup to add a smoother, silky feel to the cocktail. My feeling is that in this drink, the egg white adds plenty of texture, and plain old simple syrup will suffice.