Paul Harrington named this drink after Matt Jasmin, a friend with whom he went to architectural school. He was working at Townhouse when Jasmin said, “Make me something you’ve never made before.”
“The Pegu Club was really the drink I used to push on people,” remembered Harrington. “I loved the Pegu. I literally thought about it for twenty seconds. I decided to use Campari instead of Angostura bitters, and use lemon juice instead of lime juice. I made it once, put a twist of lemon on it. It was a beautiful pink color. I handed it to him. He said, ‘Wow, that’s good. You just invented grapefruit juice.’”
The Jasmine gained wider fame when Harrington included it in his 1998 book Cocktails. Bartenders across the nation, and the world, who were looking for instruction, made it alongside the other, older drinks in the book.
Years after inventing the drink, Harrington realized he’d been spelling his friend’s last name wrong all along; there is no “e” at the end. But by then, it was too late.
Reprinted with permission from A Proper Drink, copyright 2016 by Robert Simonson. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.