White Lady Cocktail Drink

White Lady

A shot of Gavin Wrigley looking to the camera in a dimly lit room
Written by Gavin Wrigley
Andrea
Tested by
Andrea Ottaiano

This Lady White recipe is your go-to drink when you’re looking to make something quick, refreshing, and elegant; the cocktail’s simplicity shines with just a few ingredients.

White Lady Recipe

Keep it classy and cool with our White Lady recipe, where the smoothness of Gin meets the tang of lemon juice for your new summer love affair with flavor!

Prep time:

1 minute

Mixing time:

1 minute

Servings:

1

Calories:

184 kl

Ingredients

  • oz Gin
  • ¾ oz Triple Sec
  • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white, for froth, optional
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist or slice, for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer & Fine-strainer
  • Coupe Glass

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Stir some ice cubes in your coupe glass to chill it.
  • Add Egg White: Separate 1 egg white and add it into the shaker if you desire a frothy texture.
  • Add Lemon Juice: Squeeze fresh lemon to get ¾ oz fresh lemon juice, and add it to the mix.
  • Add Triple Sec: Pour ¾ oz Triple Sec with the mix.
  • Add Gin: Measure 1½ oz Gin and pour it into the shaker.
  • Prep Shaker: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake Well: Seal your shaker and shake it vigorously until the surface feels cold, for about 15-20 seconds.
  • Strain: Remove the ice cubes from the chilled coupe glass and fine strain the mixture into the glass.
  • Garnish: Twist a lemon peel or place a lemon slice on the rim of the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: When I don't have Gin, I use vodka. It lacks Gin's herbal notes, but the cocktail still tastes great. For a more complex flavor, tequila can also be a unique substitute.
  • Triple Sec: No Triple Sec? No problem! I've used Cointreau, which brings a smoother, more sophisticated orange flavor or a splash of another citrus liqueur. Even orange juice with simple syrup can work in a pinch.
  • Egg White: Aquafaba (the water from a can of chickpeas) is a fantastic substitute for a vegan option or if you're just out of eggs. About 1 oz should do the trick.

Making a Pitcher of White Lady:

  • Scale: For a party of 8, multiply the ingredients by 8 — 12 oz of Gin, 6 oz of Triple Sec, 6 oz of lemon juice, and 8 egg whites (or equivalent substitutes).
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher. Instead of shaking, use a whisk to froth up the egg whites (or substitutes) and mix everything well.
  • Serve: Serve in individual chilled coupe glasses, garnished with a lemon twist or slice, and enjoy!

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic gin or a simple seedlip for the herbal hint.
  • Triple Sec Substitute: Replace with a non-alcoholic orange extract to maintain the citrus profile, and add a splash of simple syrup for sweetness.
  • Proceed As Usual: Mix these non-alcoholic alternatives following the original steps and savor a delightful, alcohol-free White Lady.

Making it Vegan:

  • Egg White Substitute: Use 1 oz of aquafaba instead of egg white to create the cocktail's signature frothiness without animal products. It's a magical ingredient that mimics the texture perfectly!

Nutrition Facts

Calories
184
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
0.2
g
0
%
Saturated Fat
 
0.03
g
0
%
Sodium
 
53
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
9
g
3
%
Fiber
 
0.1
g
0
%
Sugar
 
8
g
9
%
Potassium
 
79
mg
2
%
Protein
 
3
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.02
g
Vitamin A
 
1
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
8
mg
10
%
Calcium
 
4
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%

 

White Lady Cocktail Drink

White Lady Recipe

Gavin Wrigley Written by Gavin Wrigley
Jump to Video
Keep it classy and cool with our White Lady recipe, where the smoothness of Gin meets the tang of lemon juice for your new summer love affair with flavor!
Prep time: 1 minute
Mixing time: 1 minute
Servings: 1
Calories: 184

Ingredients
 

  • oz Gin
  • ¾ oz Triple Sec
  • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg white - for froth, optional
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist or slice - for garnish, optional

Equipment

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Measuring Jigger
  • Strainer & Fine-strainer
  • Coupe Glass

Instructions

  • Chill Glass: Stir some ice cubes in your coupe glass to chill it.
  • Add Egg White: Separate 1 egg white and add it into the shaker if you desire a frothy texture.
  • Add Lemon Juice: Squeeze fresh lemon to get ¾ oz fresh lemon juice, and add it to the mix.
  • Add Triple Sec: Pour ¾ oz Triple Sec with the mix.
  • Add Gin: Measure 1½ oz Gin and pour it into the shaker.
  • Prep Shaker: Fill your cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake Well: Seal your shaker and shake it vigorously until the surface feels cold, for about 15-20 seconds.
  • Strain: Remove the ice cubes from the chilled coupe glass and fine strain the mixture into the glass.
  • Garnish: Twist a lemon peel or place a lemon slice on the rim of the glass for garnish.

Notes

Substitutes:

  • Gin: When I don't have Gin, I use vodka. It lacks Gin's herbal notes, but the cocktail still tastes great. For a more complex flavor, tequila can also be a unique substitute.
  • Triple Sec: No Triple Sec? No problem! I've used Cointreau, which brings a smoother, more sophisticated orange flavor or a splash of another citrus liqueur. Even orange juice with simple syrup can work in a pinch.
  • Egg White: Aquafaba (the water from a can of chickpeas) is a fantastic substitute for a vegan option or if you're just out of eggs. About 1 oz should do the trick.

Making a Pitcher of White Lady:

  • Scale: For a party of 8, multiply the ingredients by 8 — 12 oz of Gin, 6 oz of Triple Sec, 6 oz of lemon juice, and 8 egg whites (or equivalent substitutes).
  • Mix: Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher. Instead of shaking, use a whisk to froth up the egg whites (or substitutes) and mix everything well.
  • Serve: Serve in individual chilled coupe glasses, garnished with a lemon twist or slice, and enjoy!

Making it Non-Alcoholic:

  • Gin Substitute: Use a non-alcoholic gin or a simple seedlip for the herbal hint.
  • Triple Sec Substitute: Replace with a non-alcoholic orange extract to maintain the citrus profile, and add a splash of simple syrup for sweetness.
  • Proceed As Usual: Mix these non-alcoholic alternatives following the original steps and savor a delightful, alcohol-free White Lady.

Making it Vegan:

  • Egg White Substitute: Use 1 oz of aquafaba instead of egg white to create the cocktail's signature frothiness without animal products. It's a magical ingredient that mimics the texture perfectly!

What is a White Lady?

A White Lady is a mix of Gin, triple sec, and lemon juice, often smoothed out by the frothy richness of egg white. This drink, hailing from the early 20th century, carries a legacy of elegance and simplicity, gaining popularity during the Prohibition era. Its name, “White Lady,” reflects the cocktail’s light, ethereal color, directly resulting from its transparent ingredients and the optional egg white. While its origins are debated among cocktail enthusiasts, the White Lady stands firm in classic cocktails due to its refreshing yet straightforward character. The International Bartender Association(IBA) considers the cocktail to be an official part of “The Unforgettables” category.

A side shot of a White Lady cocktail in a coupe glass on a red cloth placed on a wooden tray on top of a white table with a jigger, a bar spoon and a yellow cloth around.

What is a White Lady made of – The ingredients

Ahead of mixing your White Lady, gather these ingredients:

  • Gin: Provides the foundational spirit for the cocktail, offering herbal and juniper notes that create a complex flavor profile.
  • Triple Sec: Infuses the drink with a bright, citrusy sweetness, counterbalancing the tartness of the lemon and the botanicals of the Gin.
  • Lemon Juice: Adds a zesty tang, crucial for cutting through the sweetness of the Triple Sec and enhancing the Gin’s botanical qualities.
  • Egg White (optional): Contributes to the cocktail’s smooth texture and creates a frothy top when shaken, enhancing the drink’s visual appeal and mouthfeel.

Triple sec, lemon juice, gin, and egg laid out on a white bar table.

How do you make a White Lady?

To make the best White Lady, follow our guide:

1
<p>Chill your coupe glass by adding and stirring some ice cubes in it.</p>

Chill your coupe glass by adding and stirring some ice cubes in it.

2
<p>If you prefer a frothy cap on your cocktail, separate an egg white and add it into the shaker with the rest of the ingredients.</p>

If you prefer a frothy cap on your cocktail, separate an egg white and add it into the shaker with the rest of the ingredients.

3
<p>Measure out the fresh lemon juice, to bring the citrus element.</p>

Measure out the fresh lemon juice, to bring the citrus element.

4
<p>Measure and pour into the shaker the triple sec, adding a zesty touch. </p>

Measure and pour into the shaker the triple sec, adding a zesty touch.

5
<p>Add the gin, giving the alcoholic backbone to the mixture.</p>

Add the gin, giving the alcoholic backbone to the mixture.

6
<p>Fill up the cocktail shaker with ice cubes.</p>

Fill up the cocktail shaker with ice cubes.

7
<p>Secure the lid on the shaker firmly and shake the mixture vigorously for about 15 to 20 seconds; you’re listening to the sound of the ice crashing inside, indicating the ingredients are mixing, chilling, and diluting slightly to meld flawlessly.</p>

Secure the lid on the shaker firmly and shake the mixture vigorously for about 15 to 20 seconds; you’re listening to the sound of the ice crashing inside, indicating the ingredients are mixing, chilling, and diluting slightly to meld flawlessly.

8
<p>Remove the ice from your coupe.</p>

Remove the ice from your coupe.

9
<p>Fine strain the liquid into it, leaving the ice behind in the shaker.</p>

Fine strain the liquid into it, leaving the ice behind in the shaker.

10
<p>For an artistic touch and a hint of extra flavor, squeeze a lemon peel over the glass.</p>

For an artistic touch and a hint of extra flavor, squeeze a lemon peel over the glass.

11
<p>Twist it and place it into the martini glass.</p>

Twist it and place it into the martini glass.

12
<p>Enjoy your White Lady cocktail!</p>

Enjoy your White Lady cocktail!

White Lady without egg white

The White Lady doesn’t always call for the silkiness of egg whites. While purists might argue in favor of this classic ingredient for texture, a White Lady without egg whites stands tall with a cleaner, crisper drinkability that many prefer.

White Lady with Vodka

A White Lady with vodka is a twist on the classic cocktail that traditionally uses Gin. In this variation, vodka replaces Gin, offering a different base that’s often smoother and less botanical. This change makes the drink more approachable for those who might not favor the juniper-forward flavor of Gin, allowing the citrus and sweet elements to take more center stage.

A White Lady cocktail, shot from above in a coupe glass on a red cloth placed on a wooden tray on top of a white table with a jigger, a bar spoon, a lemon and a yellow cloth around.

Variations on the classic Gin Cocktail

If you want to try something similar, take a look at a variation from our selection:

  • Pink Lady: Applejack and grenadine give this mix a fruity and slightly sweet edge, with the applejack offering a unique, robust apple flavor. I find this particularly appealing, making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy a fruitier touch.
  • Clover Club: Featuring raspberry syrup and egg white, this classic pre-Prohibition blend balances sweet and tart with a silky texture. The vibrant berry flavor from the raspberry syrup refreshes and delights visually.
  • Gin Fizz: Combining gin, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water, this traditional and refreshing choice is perfect for hot days or as a palate cleanser. Its effervescence from the soda water makes it light and invigorating.
  • Bramble: Created in the 1980s, this modern classic introduces crème de mûre and fresh blackberries, adding a deep berry flavor and rich color. It’s visually and tastefully appealing, offering a unique berry experience.
  • Bee’s Knees: Honey syrup replaces traditional sugar in this Prohibition-era concoction, providing a distinctive sweet and floral character. The natural sweetness and depth of the honey make it a smooth and comforting favorite of mine.
  • Gin Sour: Elegant and straightforward, this mix combines gin with lemon juice and sugar. It exemplifies how simple ingredients can create a harmonious and refreshing experience, perfectly balancing sourness and sweetness.
  • Maiden’s Prayer: Mixing gin and orange liqueur with lemon and orange juice, this blend offers a citrus-forward and slightly sweet profile. The combination of lemon and orange flavors brings a delightful zestiness, making it vibrant and uplifting.
  • Blue Lady: Adding a visual twist with blue curaçao, this variation imparts a citrusy orange flavor and a striking blue hue. The blue curaçao’s vibrant color makes it visually exciting, perfect for adding a pop of color to any occasion.
  • Gin Daisy: As an older relative of the modern margarita, this blend introduces grenadine or a red liqueur, adding a sweet and slightly tart dimension. The grenadine not only sweetens but also gives the drink a lovely, inviting color.

A side shot of a White Lady cocktail in a coupe glass on a red cloth placed on a wooden tray on top of a white table with a jigger, a bar spoon, a lemon and a yellow cloth around.

Origins and History of the White Lady

The White Lady cocktail boasts a storied past intertwined with the tales of iconic mixologists and the evolution of cocktail culture itself. Its genesis can be traced back to the 1910s, with the first recorded recipe appearing in the hands of Harry MacElhone, a famed bartender at Ciro’s Club in London. However, the original formulation significantly differed from what we know today, as it featured crème de menthe, triple sec, and lemon juice but no gin.

The transformation into the contemporary White Lady occurred in the 1920s when MacElhone took the helm at the legendary Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. Here, he refined the concoction, swapping out the crème de menthe for Gin, lending the drink its characteristic clarity and kick. This version not only enhanced its flavor but also its international appeal.

Meanwhile, another renowned bartender, Harry Craddock of The Savoy Hotel in London, also claims the White Lady’s fame. He published a similar gin-based recipe in his influential “The Savoy Cocktail Book” in 1930, which further solidified the cocktail’s place in mixology history.

The White Lady’s elegance and balance between sharp and sweet quickly captivated the palates of the era’s socialites and celebrities, cementing its status as a classic. The cocktail’s name allegedly comes from its pale, ethereal color in the glass, a visual marker as iconic as its taste.

A White Lady cocktail, shot from above, in a coupe glass on a white marmol table with Gin, Triple Sec, two lemons and egg around.

See More

Did you make this recipe?

We’d love to see how you crafted our recipes!
Tag us on Instagram at @_drinksworld

FAQ

How many calories are in a White Lady?
A typical White Lady has approximately 180-200 calories, depending on the precise measurements of ingredients and the use of egg white.
How strong is a White Lady?
The strength varies based on the Gin's proof, but generally, a White Lady has an ABV of about 20-25%, translating to 40-50 proof.
What alcohol is used in a White Lady?
Gin is the primary alcohol used in a White Lady, giving it its distinctive botanical flavor.
What does a White Lady taste like?
The White Lady offers a harmonious blend of sweet and sour profiles, with the botanical notes of Gin, the citrus zest of lemon, and the sweet undercurrent of triple sec.
What is the ratio of ingredients in a White Lady?
A classic White Lady follows a 1½ : ¾ : ¾ ratio — one and a half parts gin, three-quarter part triple sec, and three-quarters part lemon juice.
How is a White Lady typically served in terms of ice?
A White Lady is usually shaken with ice and then strained into a glass, serving it "up" without ice.
In which glass is a White Lady typically served?
It's traditionally served in a coupe glass, contributing to its classic elegance.
What's the difference between a White Lady and a Sidecar?
While both contain lemon juice and triple sec, a White Lady uses Gin as the base spirit, whereas a Sidecar uses cognac or brandy.
Is the White Lady a Prohibition-era cocktail?
Yes, the White Lady gained prominence during the Prohibition era, symbolizing the creativity bartenders used to make high-proof spirits more palatable.

Categories

Types

Flavours

Spirits

Share
Pin
Post
Share
Send
Email

Rate this recipe

I don’t like it

It’s not bad

I like it

I really like it!

I love it!

Comments

Leave a Reply

Select language

The page you are looking at is also available in the following languages:

Recipe Overview

Explore our recipes by the categories below.

By spirit

By type

By flavour

Spirits Overview

Explore our spirits by the categories below.

Types