Forty miles up the Rangoon River in the land of the Golden Pagodas, on the hot balmy nights of the late 1800’s, one might find themselves at the Pegu Club. It was a British Colonial Officers’ club near the Gulf of Martaban, in Burma. Pegu itself is said to have been founded by two Mon princes in 573, as the first capital of the Talaings. It was the scene of fighting in both the first and second Burmese Wars and gave its name to the province, which was annexed by the British in 1852.

As Kipling wrote in Sea to Sea, this funny little club “was always filled with lots of people either on their way up or on their way down.” If the club was famous for anything, it was its house cocktail. As master mixologist Harry Craddock wrote in the classic 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book, the Pegu Club Cocktail “has traveled, and is asked for, around the world.” Small wonder—it's a perfect indicator of the drinking culture of those randy times. But this bracing combination of London dry gin, bitters, lime juice, and orange curacao is no dusty antique. To this day, it remains as crisp, snappy, and briskly potent as it was back then.

Reminiscent of the days gone by, the Pegu Club re-emerges not to replicate the club’s actual physical structure, but to bring back the true art of cocktail culture. Our aim is to preserve the craft of a well-made drink through thoughtful preparation and respectful methodology. We hope that our reestablished Pegu Club will serve as a beacon to those who hold the craft of the cocktail in high esteem, and as a Shangri-La — a magical place outside the ever-rushing currents of time — to all of our friends, old and new alike.

Located in New York’s SoHo district, the Pegu Club welcomes its guests and invites them to experience the true alchemy of the cocktail.

 

We won’t bore you with a dissertation; our goal is simply to do lots of little things well. We consider ourselves “gatekeepers” of classic cocktail culture, and at the end of the day relish in the fine art of making drinks. We take a great deal of pride in what we do, and want everything to be as wonderful as possible for you. It’s your money, your experience, and it’s very important to us that you enjoy every moment of it. As each day commences, we will be squeezing fresh lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit juices by hand. We will be crafting our own infusions, tinctures, flavored syrups, and ginger beer. We’ll be utilizing big ice cubes, pouring fresh soda from small bottles instead of soda guns, and providing cocktail condiments tableside as well. We think that these small nuances contribute an enormous amount of extra depth and complexity to our potable potions. And once you’ve experienced a cocktail made with such attention to freshness, we believe that you will completely understand our obsession.

We promote drinking water with your cocktail—when you dehydrate yourself with alcohol, you need to rehydrate with water. So ask for a glass of water along with your cocktail, and drink up. You’ll feel like a better person in the morning for it. If you need bitters, we’ll sell those to you too—you’ll find Regan’s Orange Bitters #6 and Peychauds at your avail. Everyone whines about their lack of availability, so here they are. Buy them. Our markup on these items is minimal—our benevolent, altruistic goal here is to put you on the path of the righteous, and point you toward the light.


POTABLES

We like to think in terms of each cocktail having its own unique personality, and will be spending many fun-filled hours perfecting new ideas and flavor combinations. Yes, we will maintain an extensive repertoire of relished, old classics (with an abundance of appreciation going out to our fellow master mixologists for support in that area—Dale Degroff, Dave Wondrich, Gary Reagon, Doc, Robert Hess, and Martin... thank you!), but will primarily be focusing on new creations to keep things interesting. The creative process is not something we rush, nor one that we take lightly. Development of each drink takes place slowly and thoughtfully, and each in its own time. Are we going to share any of our concepts or ideas with you here? Nope. You’ll just have to pay us a visit, and see what we’re doing for yourself.


SUSTENANCE

Here you are... out and about for an evening of cocktails, and perhaps a bit of civilized conversation. Grazing is a very good idea when you are painting the town red, so we had consulting chef Gavin Citron create a nice little snack menu for us. These Asian-inspired dishes are simple and straightforward, and their intentionally zingy flavors pair nicely with cocktails.