This cocktail is similar to a Sidecar but made with Gin instead of Brandy. Both drinks appeared at around the same time, shortly after the First World War.
Harry McElhone was a famous bartender who was born in Scotland but made his way to London where he worked at the Ciro Club. It was there that he first began making the White Lady, but originally used white Crème de Menthe instead of Gin. When he bought the soon to be notorious Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in 1923, he switched to the now familiar Gin version.
The White Lady was also a staple at the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London. Laurel and Hardy are said to have enjoyed more than a few of these glamorous cocktails, and it gained widespread popularity in the decade that followed. It has also been called a Delilah or a Chelsea Sidecar.
Like many other members of the Sour family, notably the Pisco Sour and the Whiskey Sour, the White Lady Cocktail is made with the addition of an egg white. This gives the drink a distinctive silky texture and dry taste. Be sure to dry-shake the egg thoroughly before adding the other ingredients to get the characteristic foamy top.
Here’s the recipe for a White Lady Cocktail:
- 45ml Gin
- 20ml Triple Sec
- 20ml Lemon juice
- 15ml sugar syrup
- 1 egg white
- Lemon twist to garnish
- Place the egg white in an empty cocktail shaker.
- Shake vigorously until the egg is foamy.
- Fill the shaker with ice.
- Add the Gin, triple Sec and lemon juice.
- Shake vigorously.
- Strain into a cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a twist of lemon.
- Cocktail shaker
- Cocktail glass