Today’s spirit du jour, gin has come a long way from being known as a poor man’s “medicine” to the ultimate gentleman’s drink. Initially distilled by the Dutch and flavoured predominantly with juniper berries, it was known for its calming effects before battle – hence its nickname, Dutch Courage.
With greater refinement over the 19th century, gin has experienced a recent surge in popularity in Europe, the US and now Hong Kong, with more and more bars now offering far more beyond the classic G&T. While nothing beats the original garnished with lime, lemon or cucumber, it doesn’t mean that this drink can’t be elevated to incorporate more complex flavours.
Privé Group mixologist Paul Magar suggests going a step further and infusing your own gin with different flavours as the quickest way to dress up a simple cocktail. He explains, “Try raspberries or bubblegum, as the sweetness complements the bitterness of the juniper-based spirit. Infusing gin is an easy process: simply put a couple of raspberries into a bottle of gin and keep it somewhere relatively hot, like the corner of your room. Try the gin after a week to test the flavour. If you prefer a stronger infusion, leave it for longer. And don’t forget to strain the gin before you use it!”
With your newly infused gin, it’s time to get started making your own cocktails! We’ve got just the recipe for those long summer evenings.
Clover Club cocktail recipe
- 2 oz raspberry-infused gin
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- ½ oz simple syrup
- 4–5 raspberries, muddled, plus extra berries for garnish
- 1 egg white
- Shake the ingredients together without ice in order to emulsify the egg white, add air and create a thicker foam.
- Add ice and shake again.
- Pour the drink into a coupe glass.
- Garnish with raspberries.
Paul Magar is one of Hong Kong’s elite modern mixologists. Having previously worked at popular Hong Kong bars such as Lily & Bloom, Paul has been working alongside Max Gurung at Privé Group since 2013. He tirelessly creates unique concoctions for Common Room, Bungalow, AMAZAKE, Assembly and Privé Group’s newest addition, I Know John.