6.11.18 / Brooklyn / New York

Brooklyn Cocktail Institute Clover Club Turns 10

Where the best bartenders in New York come to drink

  • [Photo: Gabi Porter]

  • 10 years is a long time for an establishment to survive in New York, where every season people are barraged with new hotspots that demand our attention. Only those that find the balance of exemplary execution with the comfort and ease of a neighborhood joint gain the status of ‘staple,’ immovable no matter how many new places open up. Julie Reiner’s Clover Club fits into that category, and this week it celebrates 10 years as one of the best and most influential bars in Brooklyn. The cocktail scene in New York was very different in 2008 than it is now (not to mention Brooklyns status as the most desirable neighborhood in the city), and Reiner was one of a handful of bartenders that wanted to produce refined drinks in a stylish but approachable space. It garnered acclaim quickly, and its immaculate cocktails became award-worthy as newer bars went for novelty. Those drinks were served last night, at the official anniversary celebration, and they were a reminder why Clover Club and its sister bar across the street Leyanda are as popular as ever. The ‘Perfect’ martini is labeled that way because it uses both sweet and dry vermouth, but it also lives up to its more common meaning. Clover Club’s namesake cocktail is still an excellent summer refresher, while the Latin-leaning Leyanda’s jalapeno infused cocktail didn’t pull any punches when it came to heat. The crowd also featured familiar faces, the whos-who of the New York cocktail scene. Many of those bartenders had a stint at one of Reiner’s bars, and the others could only gush about their friendships with her and head bartender Ivy Mix. As the night raged on and the seemingly endless supply of booze made their way to the large crowd, we slunk off to the corner to finish one last Perfect Martini where bartender Sam Johnson, so used to creating impeccable cocktails night after night, summarized the spirit of Clover Club best:”Sometimes it’s best to focus not on the drinks, but on the company.”

  • [Photo: Gabi Porter]

  • [Photo: Gabi Porter]

  • [Photo: Gabi Porter]

  • [Photo: Gabi Porter]

  • [Photo: Gabi Porter]