Whiskey Cocktail Hour, Valentine’s Day Edition: Crimson & Clover

It’s been almost a year since the pandemic shut everything down. As we near Valentine’s Day, many of us still find ourselves unable to go anywhere besides our homes to celebrate things, but fear not, we’ve got you covered for a romantic carpet picnic scenario that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home. All you’ll need are a few simple ingredients, and a little bit of prep to impress your Valentine this year.

This drink is a whiskey riff on a popular classic cocktail called the Clover Club. The Clover Club is a gin drink that originated at a men’s club of the same name that met at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia from the late 1800’s to 1920’s. It’s a lovely pink-hued concoction that lends itself well to using whiskey in place of the gin. Afterall, the basic recipe is essentially a raspberry sour.

Crimson & Clover

Crimson & Clover (image via Emily Ross-Johnson)

The main element of this cocktail comes from a raspberry syrup, but if you don’t feel like making a simple syrup (yeah, it’s called that because it’s really damn easy), then by all means use muddled fresh berries instead. I find that making fruit syrups is also a good way to use up fruit that is about to go bad, so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re ever worried about having to throw fresh fruit out, just make it into a syrup! I ended up using some pink lemons in this drink since it’s citrus season and there is a lot of variety at most stores right now. If you can’t find them, it’s no biggie. It doesn’t effect the taste that much, they’re just pretty and I wanted to double down on the pink factor, because why not!?

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What would a holiday like Valentine’s Day be without roses? I prefer mine in whiskey form though, so that’s why I chose to use the Four Roses Small Batch in this drink. Four Roses Small Batch was actually the first bourbon I ever fell in love with. I discovered this delicious whiskey one night while out at a fancy cocktail lounge in NYC, back in the day (around 2008) when there wasn’t much more available in bars for a higher end bourbon other than Maker’s Mark. At 45% ABV you’d think this bourbon would pack more of a heated punch, but I have always loved is subtly and balance of spice and fruit, which also made it an easy choice for this cocktail.

I hope you’ll enjoy this pretty pink sipper, whether you’re spending the evening solo or with a special someone. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Crimson & Clover

  • 1 1/2 oz Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz *Raspberry Syrup* or 6-8 Fresh Raspberries
  • 1 Egg white

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain the cocktail into your smaller shaker tin and discard the ice. Shake again without ice and double strain through a mesh strainer into your cocktail coupe. You can garnish with fresh berries, or use dehydrated raspberry dust like I did. Trader Joe’s carries the dehydrated raspberries and you can simply crush them up and sprinkle over top of your drink for an extra special touch for your sweetheart!

*Raspberry Syrup*

Combine a pint of raspberries with 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Mash the berries with a potato masher to incorporate the juice from the berries into the syrup. When sufficiently cooled, strain through a mesh strainer and store the syrup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.