San Francisco: It's Beyond Rangoon for the Pegu Cocktail


[Photograph: Mariah Gardner]

Sometimes the first warm day in the thick of February has us pretending it's summer already (though one might say here in San Francisco it's hard to differentiate between the seasons to begin with). Lucky for me, sauntering into North Beach's Comstock Saloon one such balmy afternoon and sidling up to the gorgeous hardwood bar for something "fresh and gin-y" offered up a new favorite: The Pegu Cocktail.

Once known as the Pegu Club cocktail and sometimes these days just as a Pegu, this citrusy concoction nearly begs for a sweltering locale—small wonder as it began life as the signature drink of Burma's Pegu Club, often sipped by the likes of Rudyard Kipling. Luckily this dandified limeade stands up equally well in the dead of winter, the combination of fresh squeezed lime, Curacao and Angostura bitters giving it a lovely grapefruit flavor (though nary a grapefruit is present). Served up in a delicate stemmed glass, it's easy to forget it's also laden with the juniper spirit, but beware! This Burmese cooler is a cocktail for sure.

Comstock Saloon

155 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA (map) 415-617-0071;


Paul Clarke's Pegu Club Recipe »