The White Lady Cocktail Recipe

Posted in Gin on March 7, 2014

white lady

The White Lady is a cocktail with an elegant and delicate name. However, don’t let yourself fooled by appearance. The cocktail is indeed elegant, but it is also pretty strong. The recipe is actually a variation of the Sidecar, but it uses gin instead of brandy or bourbon. It is also known as Delilah or Chelsea Sidecar. Some experts say that the White Lady is in fact a combination between the Sidecar and the Martini. It seems to have something of both.

The history of the White Lady is controversial because more than one person is claiming to have been its inventor. One of the stories says that the cocktail was invented in 1919 by Henry MacElhone at Ciro’s in London. He made it with crème de menthe, but adjusted the recipe ten years later while he was in Paris and decided to use gin. Henry Craddock also claims the invention of the White Lady. In fact, the Savoy Cocktail Book published in 1930 also includes this recipe. A famous Savoy bartender, Joe Gilmore, has said that Laurel and Hardy enjoyed the White Lady very much.

No one can tell for sure who of the two men actually came up with the idea for the cocktail first. We also don’t have any clue on what inspired the name. It might have been inspired by the delicate and whitish appearance of the cocktail or by mythological bad ghosts known as white ladies.

If you like both the Martini and the Sidecar, you can try to prepare the White Lady at home. You won’t be disappointed in the result and the recipe is not very complicated either.

How to Prepare the White Lady

First of all, you need to make sure that you have all the ingredients:

  • 2 oz. of gin.
  • ½ oz. of Cointreau.
  • ½ oz. of lemon juice.
  • 1 egg white.

Put all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well. As you can easily imagine, the egg white will make the cocktail foamy. Strain the drink into a champagne saucer which was previously chilled.

Traditionally, the cocktail is served in a chilled Martini glass. However, if the recipe calls for an egg white, a champagne saucer is better option for the foamy drink.

You don’t necessarily have to use the egg white because it is not included in all variations. Similarly, if you consider that the cocktail is too sour, you can add some sugar and cream to the recipe and make it sweeter.

Leave a Reply