Pegu Club Gin Curacao Lime Juice Bitters Shaken Cocktail

The Pegu Club, although not as widely recognized as other iconic cocktails such as the Sazerac, Mint Julep, and Martini, holds a significant place in the Golden Age of cocktails. This classic drink, akin to gin-based sours like the Daiquiri and Margarita, derives its name from the place where it originated. In fact, the renowned craft cocktail bar in New York City, bearing the same moniker, draws inspiration from the Pegu Club’s historical significance.

The first recording of this cocktail is in Henry MacElhone’s 1927 book, Barflies and Cocktails. However, the Pegu Club originated at the private men’s club of the same name in Rangoon, Burma, modern day Yangon, Myanmar. This drink was their signature cocktail and was enjoyed by the members, who were predominately British senior government and military officials, and prominent businessmen.

The Pegu Club cocktail’s modern day revival is largely due to Audrey Saunders’s now sadly shuttered New York City bar by the same name. It opened in 2005 and closed in 2020. It further galvanized the early 2000s craft cocktail movement in New York City. As one of the most influential cocktail bars in the world, it created modern classics like the Old Cuban.

The Pegu Club offers a delightful twist on the classic Gin Sour, omitting the egg whites and introducing the delightful touch of bitters. Instead of simple syrup, this refined beverage follows the Sidecar tradition by incorporating triple sec for a perfect balance of sweetness and vibrant citrus undertones. While some contemporary renditions opt for Cointreau, which undoubtedly satisfies, others favor the inclusion of orange curaçao. Ultimately, the choice of preferred orange liqueur rests in the hands of the skilled bartender or mixologist entrusted with concocting this exquisite libation. Enjoy the art of crafting your Pegu Club experience to your personal taste preference.

Note: this cocktail is extremely dry, to soften it, use sweetened lime juice instead of fresh or add .25 oz of simple syrup, if desired.


.75 oz ORANGE LIQUEUR, Preferably dry Curaçao
.75 oz LIME JUICE, Fresh is best
1 dash(es) BITTERS, Preferably Angostura
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