• 77 West Houston Street
• New York, NY 10012
• (212) 473-7348 •

Sissy tree-hugging mama's boy liberal pantywaste that I am, a small part of me feels slightly guilty drinking at a venue that celebrates the good old days of sun-never-setting globo-colonial imperialism. A very, very small part. While some bars like PDT and The Back Room romanticize the 1920s speakeasies, when having a drink meant secret codes, knowing the right people, and hiding in plain sight, Pegu Club romanticizes prohibition-era drinking from the British point of view. Here, it's would be high treason against the Queen to allow some temperance-fetishizing Puritan to keep someone from their forty year-old Glenfiddich. Stepping inside turns you into a leisure-class traveler at an upscale officers' club bar full of Brits and Yanks in the exotic locale of Burma.

Somewhat cornball, somewhat politically incorrect, but you know you love it. And it's a great bar with some great cocktails.

After our last outing, Operagirl and I were determined to get a halfway decent drink. And thus did we find ourselves at Pegu Club. One downside to Pegu is their lack of a no-standing rule. Essentially, this means that when they run out of places to sit, you can still come in. So people mill about, crowding the bar and giving it a meat-market vibe. So unless you want to fight for the bartender's attention or are determined to find some arm candy, go during the week or early when it's less crowded.

It seems silly to go to a cocktail lounge and order only one drink when you can order two for just twice the price. So that's what we did.

The first thing I ordered was Pegu's signature drink, The Pegu Club Cocktail, a concoction of gin, bitters and lime juice that was able to be sweet, sour and bitter all amazingly at the same time. Operagirl's first drink was The Old Cuban, a champagne-based cocktail (spiking the price) mixed with rum, bitters, lime and mint. They refer to it as their version of the mojito, and damn if it wasn't one of the best versions I've ever had. If you like minty limeade that tingles on your tongue as you drink it, this would be the drink for you.

One thing that Pegu Club will do is provide your table with vials to adjust the cocktail to your personal liking. Thus, if your drink is too sweet, add some bitters. Too sour, add some sugar. We used them for round two. Having both ordered drinks that were a bit too sweet, those vials came in handy, making a good drink way better. My choice was the Tantris Sidecar, a cognac based drink with brandy, pineapple, lime, Chartreuse, and Cointreau. Keeping in theme with her mojito-esque Old Cuban, Operagirl ordered a French Pearl. Gin, Pernod, mint, lime and sugar.

This was not my first time at Pegu, with her or other friends, and although I can't recall off hand what I've ordered before, I can attest to having never tried anything I didn't like. For those who prefer a beer over a cocktail, Pegu has a short list of beers you could try. Additionally, for those who show up a might peckish, there's a small plates menu. However, while everything on the menu looked good, I haven't ever ordered from it.

Drinks are $13 each, unless you get a Champagne-based one, which goes for $17.

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