White Lady Cocktail

Now that I’ve overcome my egg-white issue, it’s full steam ahead! The White Lady cocktail can be made without an egg white (most recipes say it’s optional) but I like it with! If you are making it without, add a lemon twist as a garnish.

This is a classic Harry MacElhone cocktail, created around 1919. It’s a sour style cocktail, so it is bright and citrussy. The sugar syrup balances out the lemon juice and the Cointreau adds depth.

Ingredients for The White Lady Cocktail

45ml Gin (I used The Botanist)

22ml Triple Sec (or Cointreau)

22ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

10ml sugar syrup

1 egg white


Add all of the ingredients to an empty cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds then add ice. Shake for a further 10 seconds then pour into a chilled coupé glass.





  1. Caroline,

    The White Lady is one of the all time classics and it is a delight to see this cocktail and many others enjoying a revival. In essence it’s the same as a “Sidecar” with the Brandy switched for Gin instead, and I like either of these cocktails.

    While I tend to use a more standard triple sec than Cointreau, Harry Craddock of The Savoy Cocktail Book fame specifically specifies Cointreau for the White Lady and I have to concur with both you and Harry as it adds more depth. However, I’m not so sure about the use of The Botanist Gin as I suspect some of it’s subtle flavors are lost in this cocktail – I haven’t tried it in a White Lady myself so can’t be sure. The Gin certainly needs to be dry like The Botanist and have tended to use Beefeater and Tanqueray, but what about using “The Sabre” or “The Cutlass” Gins from The West Winds or even “South” Gin from New Zealand?

    Regards, David Schofield

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