How to Make the Best Pegu Club Cocktail
Many bartenders I know have cultivated a certain sense of authority. It makes sense to me that it happens naturally. We bartenders are often seen as fonts of information, whether it's dating advice or a piece of trivia to settle a bet. Goodness knows I've certainly done quite a bit of work on that end. After all, you're reading this column, right?
JK Grence Hello again, old friend. My, how you've changed!
One of my very favorite cocktails is the Pegu Club Cocktail. Indeed, it's the main reason I became fascinated with modern craft bartending over T.G.I. Friday's-style flair bartending. I wrote about the Pegu in this very column some time ago. It's a bracing gin-based cocktail from the late 1920s, invented at a British officers' club in the jungles of Burma as an antidote to stifling tropical heat.
For years, I've made my Pegu Club cocktails with a formula close to the classic Margarita, but with gin and a couple of dashes of bitters. That all changed last weekend when I stumbled across the fascinating cocktail blog Elemental Mixology. The author has done positively astonishing amounts of research regarding classic cocktails.
Some of the things I've read on Elemental Mixology have taken the way I think about cocktails and turned them on my head. Yet, what he writes makes perfect sense. One of the author's crusades is to bring the term "cocktail" back to its pre-Prohibition days. These days, a cocktail is anything involving at least two ingredients, one of which is booze. Say the word "cocktail" and practically everyone gets an image in their head of the quintessential Martini glass.