The original Pegu Club was located near the Gulf of Martaban in Burma (for you non-geography geeks, that’s between India and Thailand) and was primarily a watering hole for British Colonial officers in the late nineteenth century. The modern club is Audrey Sanders’ tribute to this historic place and also an oasis dedicated to serving the highest quality and inventive cocktails. The menu features the original Pegu Club Cocktail, a mix of gin, orange curacao, lime juice, and bitters, as well as a changing seasonal list, and a contribution from legendary mixologist Dale Degroff, Sanders’ mentor.
For food options, Asian inspired drunk-New Yorker-friendly small plates are available. Some of the good ones include the calamari, deviled eggs, and coconut shrimp. Definitely try the sea scallop mini-burgers. These delightful, buttery nuggets are the perfect blend of fresh, fine-dining cuisine and late night craving killers.
What’s truly great about the Pegu Club as opposed to other cocktail lounges or “speakeasies” in New York is that there seems to be a lack of pretension without lack of quality. The idea isn’t to be exclusive or even all that elusive, but to simply provide delicious drinks in a classy yet comfortable setting. Yes, the bartenders are assembling some of the best cocktails in the city, but as they go about their business they seem to be asking, “Isn’t this how they do it everywhere?”
Featured cocktail: Falling Leaves (Alsatian Riesling, Poire Williams eau-de-vie, honey, orange curacao, lemon juice, Pernod essence)
With a cocktail that features white wine as a main ingredient, there’s a risk of overpowering the wine, especially with a varietal as delicate and transparent as Riesling. Five other components almost sound like overkill. However, this cocktail is surprisingly crisp with a light fruitiness, very aromatic and well balanced. It could almost be described in the way one describes, well… a fine Alsatian Riesling.