Pegu Club – How to Make the Classic Gin Cocktail

The Pegu Club is a Prohibition-Era cocktail made with London Dry Gin, Orange Curaçao (or other Orange Liqueur), Lime Juice and Aromatic Bitters. It’s like a Margarita ( made with gin or a White Lady made with lime juice, depending on how you want to look at it.

It traces its origins back to the Pegu Club in British-colonial Burma, what is now Myanmar. The Pegu Club (the place) was located in Rangoon and dates back to the early 1880’s. The drink started coming into the picture about 40 years later, in the 1920’s.

It’s basically a riff on a Daisy, which is a category known for a spirit, a citrus juice, a touch of curaçao and possibly a dash of this or that, depending on where you’re looking. According to Jerry Thomas, a White Lady ( would be closer to his definition of a Gin Daisy than the Pegu Club. What really distinguishes the Pegu Club is it’s use of bitters.

There were several variations on the recipe when the drink first started getting put in print and even now, most folks don’t agree on the specifics. Mostly the ratios are what vary slightly, but there are also recipes that call for both Aromatic and Orange Bitters. I mostly like using Aromatic-only because it helps simplify the drink and side-by-side, the Aromatic-only and the Aromatic plus Orange versions are hardly distinguishable. Another variation was that an early recipe called for a Lime Cordial ( instead of Lime Juice. This version also specified to use a lot less Orange Liqueur, so it helped balance out the added sweetness of the Cordial that way.

Despite all the variations, the one thing that remained consistent across all of the recipes was the Curaçao. And with the brand of Curaçao I’m using, it makes the drink on the dry side. If you need the drink to be sweeter, use a high quality Triple Sec or a Martinique Shrubb. Both options would give the drink a booster shot of sweetness.

Personally, I don’t think it needs it. This version is right where it needs to be. It’s sweet and sour and has a bold backbone of gin. It’s refreshing and certainly easy to throw together. Also, it’s something really easy to make at any home bar. Enjoy!

1.5 oz Gin
0.75 oz Curaçao
0.75 oz Lime Juice
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters

Shake with ice. Double-strain into chilled coupe glass. No garnish.

Rendezvous 1 by Martin Landh
via Epidemic Sound

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Featured in this Episode:

Ford’s Gin

Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao

Angostura Bitters

Bar Tools:

Coupe Glass (1 oz larger)

OXO SteeL Double Jigger

Fine Mesh Strainer

OXO SteeL Cocktail Shaker

Citrus Juicer (Lime)

Cutting Board

Small Knife


Mike VanDyke says:

Love the videos… Why do you sometimes chill the glass with just ice and sometimes with ice and water?

Drummi says:

I have made a kind of a variation on this: 2/5 parts of Gin, 1/5 Cointreau, 1/5 Simple sirup and 1/5 Lemon juice. Now I must try this one! Thank you and keep up with the videos. Chears!

Tyler Durden says:

What happened to your voice, it keeps getting deeper.

Manne Segerlund says:

I need to get Orange Curacao. But no matter haw many bottles of liqueur I buy there is always something missing.

LCC007TB says:

Hey DS. This was one of those cocktails for which I had all the ingredients, well… sort of. I used Cointreau instead of Orange Curaçao, but other than that beautiful orange tone, I don’t think I missed much, therefore, I decided to give it a go. Sadly the lime juice wasn’t great because the limes were sitting on my fridge for quite some time, but the fact of the matter is a enjoyed the drink a great deal. With better gin and a fresh lime I think this cocktail will become a regular. So, thank you for another winner.

Btw, don’t know if you take drink requests into consideration, but here’s one I’d love to see your take on: The Singapore Sling. I came across it out of nowhere, never heard of it, and it seems like one of those drinks every “expert” has its way of doing and apparently it’s very easy to mess it up. I sense that long drinks may not be your cup of tea, but hey, who knows?

Simon C says:

There needs to be a variation of this called the Pingu Club.

Filmatic Dave says:

Why not just chill the glass in the freezer?

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