Quietly snuggled between Emack and Bolio’s and Dos Caminos on Houston Street, a solitary neon-lit coat of arms flickers in red, trying to draw the attention of the adventurous post-shopping, post-feasting downtown crowd. Pegu Club offers the perfect balance between the mystery of elitist mixologies like Death & Co. or PDT and hospitality of your Village bars. Upon entrance, you have the option of checking your coat. At the top of the candle-lit stairs, you’ll find the warmly open, clean-cut space.
Of course, the highlight of Pegu Club is its unique, mixologist-formulated cocktails. And although I always make it a point to try something different, I tend to revert to the Earl Grey MarTEAni. This is one of their lighter drinks, infused with Earl Grey Tea and topped with a frothy egg white foam. You’ll get a hint of this herbal aroma even before the glass touches your lips.
Derrick went old school – first whiskey, then rum. Very Mad Men-esque, these cocktails were practically straight up and definitely too strong for someone with my low tolerance, but great for anyone who can appreciate quality liquor. Derrick’s brother, James, got the Mint Julep. With round two, he asked the waitress to recommend. In several other reviews, I read that this is a pretty regular request, whereby the server surprises you with a random cocktail. Jay stole my Earl Grey MarTeani, then went with the Improved Strawberry Daiquiri second. The latter was definitely a girly alternative, very sugary with a light spritz to the texture.
All in all, Pegu Club offers the perfect setting to chat and meet up with friends. While the service may be on the slower side, at $13 to $16 per cocktail, you’ll want to take your time with these drinks anyway. This provides for a venue for you to just relax and get away from the bustling world of Manhattan.