All this week we are counting down to World Gin Day on Saturday 14 June with Six Classic Gin Cocktails.

The White Lady was invented invented by Harry MacElhone of French 75 and Harry’s New York Bar fame. It took him some time to perfect the recipe. He first started making an early version of the White Lady at Ciro’s Club in London in 1919. It was made with two shots of Cointreau, one shot of white creme de menthe and one shot of lemon juice. I don’t need to taste this to tell it would be terrible. Orange, lemon and mint? Sounds like a some sort of Masterchef challenge gone very, very wrong.

By the time he opened Harry’s New York Bar in Paris he had refined the recipe and the White Lady as we know it today was recorded in 1923.

The White Lady is a variation on a gin sour. Sours are one of the most traditional cocktails and can be made with any spirit blended with lemon juice, something sweet and often egg white. In a White Lady the sweetness comes from orange liqueur, I’ve chosen to use Cointreau, however you can use Grand Marnier or any quality triple sec (the generic name for orange liqueur).

White Lady

45mL gin
30mL Cointreau
30mL fresh lemon juice
one egg white

Combine is a Boston shaker with ice and shake very vigorously to fully incorporate and foam the egg white. Serve in a champagne saucer and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

White Lady cocktailNot sure about egg white in cocktails? Don’t worry, neither was I. I’m a ‘cook the eggs hard’ kind of girl, but the egg white completely dissolves into the drink with no eggy taste.

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