A ring of egg white foam makes a cocktail look undeniably enticing. Like the blooming head on a pint of pale ale or the pillowy tuft of milk dolloped atop a latte, a layer of foam announces your drink will have texture and contrast—two defining features of our cocktail this month.
We find it at Hodges Bend—a stylish new bar on University Avenue in St. Paul, just west of Highway 280, with great coffee and big windows looking out at the Westgate light rail station. Sinking into one of the plush booths, bar manager Blaine Young tells us why he put the turn-of-the-century classic, the Clover Club, on his inaugural cocktail menu.
“The Clover Club is what turned me on to classic cocktails, and egg white cocktails,” Young says. “I first had one at a little speakeasy in Chicago. I knew the bartender, asked for an egg white drink, and it just blew me away. It has every component of a good cocktail. It’s creamy, it’s dry, it’s sweet and tart. The London dry gin plays very nicely.”
This is as genial as cocktails come—a lush fruitiness balanced by the astringent egg, sweet and sharp with a foamy finish. It’s pretty in pink and tastes like the lead-in to a lazy Sunday afternoon.
1½ ounce London dry gin
½ ounce lemon juice
¼ ounce rich (2:1) simple syrup
¼ ounce raspberry syrup*
1 whole medium egg white (about 1 ounce)
Build the cocktail in a shaker tin, starting with the egg white and working up. Double shake (see: Spirits Close-Up, Egg Whites) and then double strain (Hawthorne and fine mesh strainers) into a coupe glass. Garnish with a skewer of cherries.
* Raspberry syrup
2 cups raspberries
8 ounces water
250 grams granulated sugar
Simmer the berries in the water until juice has leached from the fruit, about 5–10 minutes. Strain out the fruit while the mixture is still hot and add sugar, mixing to dissolve. Measure the syrup, add 1½ teaspoons of citric acid per 8 ounces, and chill.