How to make a White Lady cocktail

Another Christmassy cocktail to add to your list, is the classy White Lady cocktail.

Smooth and sweet, the White Lady is beautifully simple, unlike its deliciously disputed history. Some argue that this crafty cocktail was created by bartender Harry McElhone at London’s Ciro Club in 1919, while others believe that it was created in 1930 by Harry Craddock, at The American Bar in The Savoy, London.

McElhone first used equal parts of white crème de menthe, triple sec and lemon juice then adapted the recipe in 1929 when he was working in his own bar in Paris, ironically named Harry's New York Bar. This ‘new’ version consisted of gin, orange liqueur, lemon juice and egg white.

Craddock, on the other hand, used three ingredients – lemon juice, cointreau and dry gin – as recorded in Craddock’s, The Savoy Cocktail Book. Despite the disputed history, what remains is a simply delicious cocktail that has stood the test of time.

Our expert bartender, Phil Sanders, comments, “I couldn’t help but add this classic cocktail to this year’s list. It’s the first cocktail I ever made and I used to make it for my father at Christmas, like my father did for my grandfather. Instead of using egg whites in this version, however, I use sugar syrup to add body to the cocktail.

“The Grand Marnier gives those lovely Christmas aromatics and citrus liqueur flavours, but it’s the Physic Gin that makes it. With classic toffee and chocolate undertones combined with beautiful botanicals, our version of the White Lady cocktail is truly unique.”

White Lady Cocktail Ingredients

  • 50ml Physic Gin
  • 15ml Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 10ml Grand Marnier
  • 5ml Sugar Syrup
  • 1ml Orange Bitters

White Lady: step-by-step recipe

  1. Add the Physic Gin, lemon juice, grand marnier, sugar syrup, and orange bitters to a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake hard.
  3. Double strain into an old fashioned glass with a single large ice cube.
  4. Garnish with lemon or any citrus peel (express the essential oils across the top) and sip the evening away.
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