Created by the legendary barman Harry McElhone at London's Ciro Club in 1919, the White Lady is a refreshing all day cocktail. The recipe given here is based on the recipe Harry adopted in 1923, incorporating Gin instead of Creme de Menthe, with a little extra Gin to make a drier cocktail, as suggested by Harry Craddock of the Savoy in 1930. In its purest form, the White Lady gin cocktail is essential a gin Sidecar, but egg-white can be used to give the cocktail an indulgent silky smooth mouthfeel.

  • Our Rating: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Character: Balanced
  • Occasions: All Day
  • Preparation Time: 3 min
White Lady

White Lady Ingredients

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Garnish with no garnish - a lemon peel twist is used but discarded..

How to Make a White Lady

  1. Combine the Gin, Lemon Juice & Cointreau in a cocktail shaker containing ice & shake.
  2. Strain into the chilled, stemmed cocktail glass.
  3. Twist a swathe of Lemon Peel over the surface of the drink, discarding afterwards, before serving.

Tips & Tricks Making a White Lady

  • The original 1923 recipe of the White Lady cocktail can be made using equal parts Creme De Menthe, Triple Sec & Lemon Juice.
  • To give a sublime smooth silky finish to the White Lady cocktail, a shot of egg white can be added to the drink before shaking - many modern recipes call for egg white.
  • Some variations on the White Lady gin cocktial recipe also include a splash of cream.
  • If adding egg white or cream, it is useful to dry shake the cocktail first (i.e. shake without ice) before shaking with ice.
  • You can try adding bitters if you like - orange bitters will compliment the Cointreau.

Fun Facts About the White Lady

  • According to Joe Gilmore, the former head barman at the Savoy, the White Lady was the cocktail of choice for the comedy due Laurel & Hardy.
  • The original 1923 recipe of the White Lady cocktail used Creme De Menthe instead of Gin.
  • Harry McElhone swapped Creme De Menthe for Gin after founding the - now famous - Harry's New York Bar in Paris in 1923.
  • The White Lady gin cocktail is sometimes known as a Gin-&-Juice cocktail, which consist of gin with citrus juice (lemon or lime) & one other ingredient to add sweetness & interest. Examples of "Gin & Juice" cocktails are the Aviation, the Casino, the Sidecar & the Corpse Revivor No. 2. These are essential a variation on sours - 2 parts strong, one part sour & one part sweet.

Items You Need to Make a White Lady

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Martini Glass

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Citrus Peeler

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Spirit Measure

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