Suppose you’re a British colonist in Burma in the early 1900’s. Work is over for the day. You need to relax and have a drink. But where do you go? You’re likely not going to be welcomed in the local watering holes frequented by the Burmese. No, you certainly can’t go there. Well, if you’re in Rangoon then you’re in luck. You can head over to the Pegu Club, an ex-pat bar quite near the parade grounds. Like many clubs and bars the Pegu Club had a signature drink of its own. The Pegu Club Cocktail as it was known, now referred to simply as a Pegu or Pegu Club, is a refreshing mix of gin, lime juice, Cointreau and bitters.
The first known printing of the recipe for a Pegu is from Harry MacElhone’s “Barflies and Cocktails” printed in 1927. A likely more well known instance of the recipe can be found in the 1930 edition of Harry Cradock’s “Savoy Cocktail Book.” At that point in time it’s clear the Pegu had become quite well known as Harry noted that the Pegu is “one that has traveled, and is asked for, round the world.” For my experiments I’ll be starting, as has become customary here, with the recipe printed in the “Joy of Mixology.”
Pegu (Joy of Mixology)
2 oz Gin 1 oz Cointreau 1/2 oz Lime Juice Angostura Bitters to Taste Orange Bitters to Taste
Combine ingredients, shake and strain.