The Pegu Club

Posted by Noah Ward on

The Pegu Club is one of those drinks which its history is arguably more potent than the cocktail itself. A once forgotten classic from a bygone era and a country with a complicated and oftentimes dark history: Myanmar. At the time known as Burma during British Occupation and colonisation, there was a gentleman's club in Rangoon of which the drink was named after, and became the iconic and adored drink of the venue. It was used as a hangout for the British Officers, with a rule to exclude any of the Burmese locals from entering, a tradition sadly carried on with Japanese occupation post-WWII - except for a few instances -  before being taken over by the Tatmadaw (Burmese Military) where it was used as a pension office until it's abandonment in 2002. Nowadays, Myanmar is under democratic governance, with their first elected non-military State Counsellor (similar to a Prime Minister) Aung San Suu Kyi, The Pegu Club still exists and has been restored and operational since 2018, but cocktail has seen a renaissance halfway across the world in New York City, where legendary U.S. Bartender Audrey Saunders championed it at her own bar named Pegu Club which opened in 2005.

Sadly, Pegu Club permanent closed earlier in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a fast-approaching lease renewal, Audrey announced that they would not be re-signing. After having the drink as a staple cocktail, with a little recipe tweak, the cocktail emerged from almost a century-long dark age, entering a renaissance rarely seen in the bar world. It makes a great deal of sense too, as it's an incredibly simple recipe of Gin, Curaçao, Lime and both Aromatic and Orange bitters. If you've ever really wondered what cocktail bitters does to lift a cocktail, this drink will answer any doubt you have, alongside such a simple base, it brings this cocktail to stratospheric levels of refreshment. 

the pegu club

45ml Australian Gin

15ml Orange Curacao 

15ml Lime Juice

1 dash Aromatic Bitters (Angostura)

1 dash Orange Bitters 

add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake and double strain into a chilled coupe glass, and garnish with either lemon or lime peel.,

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