Hit all the citrusy notes with our stylish sip, the White Lady cocktail. A gin-laced sour, where the zesty tartness of the gin, bitter orange botanicals and lemon juice are beautifully tamed by the rich, silky egg white.
The Only White Lady Cocktail for an Elegant Sip
PREP TIME 5 min
Make sure to chill your glass in the freezer for the best icy sip
For a vegan version, shake up this cocktail with ¾ oz aquafaba instead
Garnish with a sprig of thyme for a showstopper
Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker or mason jar and shake for 10 seconds until it’s frothy
Add a handful of ice and shake for 10 seconds until icy-cold
Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist
How to make the best White Lady cocktail
A boozy front-loaded cocktail needs a top-quality gin like a Bulldog Gin for a solid base. Opt for Grand Marnier for your orange liqueur for all the bitter orange this citrusy cocktail relies on. Fresh lemon juice adds to this and always brings the added sweetness that bottled can’t provide. Egg white is our final touch, which brings the silken creamy texture for sophisticated sipping.
When making a White Lady cocktail recipe, it’s best to not shake your egg white. The pros refer to it as a dry shake. Egg whites froth best at a lower temperature and emulsify into a smooth silky texture. For optimum drinking temperature, shake it with ice after emulsification.
Chill your stemmed glass in the freezer for a short while. Or if no space, drop a few ice cubes into the glass with a little water to chill it and tip it out before pouring.
History of the White Lady cocktail
The White Lady cocktail dates back to the early 1920s. The Harry MacElhone of Paris’ Harry’s Bar fame created a version of the White Lady cocktail while working in London. First developed with crème de menthe, it morphed to gin over time. We love the end result and, apparently, Laurel and Hardy loved it too. It was their choice when overnighting at the London Savoy.
What does the White Lady cocktail taste like?
The White Lady cocktail is a bracingly tart combination of gin, bittersweet orange liqueur, and lemon juice. The egg whites take the edge off and balance the scales to give a smooth mouthfeel and an absolutely sublime sip.
This tart spirit-forward cocktail is a perfect antidote to rich indulgent meals as an after-dinner sip. It also pairs well with warm baked pastry bites as a pre-dinner drink.
Variations of the traditional White Lady cocktail recipe
Here are a few White Lady cocktail variations you shouldn’t miss:
- For a Winter White Lady cocktail add a dash or two of aromatic bitters that complement the triple sec beautifully.
- If our White Lady cocktail recipe is too tart for your palette, add a splash of cream along with the egg white for a richer sip.
- If zesty flavors are your thing, then try making a Chelsea Sidecar – omit the egg white and add ½ oz of simple syrup to balance the tang.
- A Pink Lady cocktail without egg white is another one to try. To make one, use our White Lady cocktail recipe above, ditching the egg white entirely. Simply swap out the Grand Marnier for apple brandy and add a dash of grenadine for all the pretty in pink.