Pegu Club Cocktail
This cocktail was the favorite at the British private members club – Pegu Club, Burma – where else – and one that has travelled since the imperial times and is asked for around the world, according to Harry Craddock’s “The Savoy Cocktail Book” (circa 1930).
It is a fine blend of London Dry Gin and oranges. It is not a sour, it is not a blossom, it is however a real gentlemen’s cocktail.
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
1 Dash Orange Bitters
1 Teaspoonful Lime Juice
1/3 Curaçao. 2/3 Gin
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.
The building itself was not so lucky.
The Pegu Club was built in 1882 and is located just off Pyay Road in Yangon. It was a epitome of colonialism and privilege, serving British army officers and civilian administrators. Above, the building in its heyday (1910’s photo uncredited).
Thant Myint-U, the chairman of Yangon Heritage Trust writes in his Financial Times article ‘Forgotten treasures’ (2 Dec 2011), “Rudyard Kipling stayed at Pegu Club in March 1889, on his way from Calcutta to San Francisco (…). He was served mutton and regaled with tales of war (“See that man over there. He was cut over the head the other day at Zoungloung-Goo!”)”. From what he heard that evening, Kipling would write his poem “Mandalay”.
Currently, the building is parcellated into small private quarters for families of policemen and civil servants, not accessible to the public. You can observe it longingly from the main gate imagining the faded splendour slowly eaten away by the termites and time.
Athough now the Pegu Club appears virtually abandoned.
This article is from my good friend Dora, who feels strongly about Myanmar, architecture and cocktails.