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The White Lady

The White Lady is an elegant drink that has been a favorite among bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts for nearly a century. This simple yet sophisticated cocktail combines the bold flavors of gin, orange liqueur, and lemon juice.

The White Lady

Today, the White Lady can be found on menus at some of the world’s most renowned bars. Its timeless appeal and simple yet delicious flavor make it a staple in the world of cocktails.


The White Lady cocktail is a classic drink that has been enjoyed for over a century. Its origins are somewhat disputed, but it is widely accepted that it was first created by Harry McElhone in 1919. At the time, he was bartending at the Ciro Club in London, where he combined crème de menthe with triple sec and lemon juice to create the drink.

a bartender garnishing a white lady cocktail

The White Lady was a fairly popular drink at the time, but McElhone changed the recipe when he took over his own bar, Harry’s New York Bar, in Paris in 1923. He replaced the crème de menthe with gin, creating the version of the drink that is most commonly consumed today.

During the Prohibition era, the White Lady became a popular cocktail in Paris, where it was served at the Savoy Hotel and Harry’s New York Bar. It was also a favorite of the American writer Ernest Hemingway, who frequented Harry’s New York Bar during his time in Paris.

The White Lady’s popularity continued to grow throughout the 20th century, and it remains a popular cocktail to this day. It is often included in lists of classic cocktails and is a staple at many bars and restaurants around the world.

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How to Make It

The White Lady

White Lady

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Wonderfully light and refreshing, the White Lady is an elegant cocktail that never disappoints.

This is the classic version of the famous cocktail, so no need for egg whites, unless you want them!


  • 1.5 ounces of a London dry gin
  • .75 ounce of Triple Sec
  • .75 ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Egg White
  • Dash of sugar syrup (optional)


  1. Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker without ice and dry shake.
  2. Add ice and shake again until chilled.
  3. Strain and serve in a chilled cocktail glass.

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There are many variations of the White Lady cocktail that you can try. Some of the most popular variations include:

With Crème de Menthe

One version of the White Lady cocktail, made with brandy and crème de menthe, was crafted by Harry MacElhone in his 1921 book Harry’s ABC’s of Mixing Cocktails. This version of the drink adds a minty twist to the classic recipe, making it perfect for those who love a refreshing cocktail.

Balanced with Aquafaba

If you’re looking for a vegan alternative to egg whites, try using aquafaba instead. This ingredient, which is the liquid from a can of chickpeas, can be used to create a similar foam to egg whites. It gives the drink a silky texture and a nice balance of sweet and sour flavors.

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Whiskey Sour Style

If you prefer whiskey over gin, you can try making a White Lady with whiskey instead. This variation is similar to a Whiskey Sour, but with the addition of triple sec and egg white. It’s a great way to enjoy the classic flavors of a whiskey sour with a twist.

Chelsea Sidecar

The Chelsea Sidecar is a variation of the White Lady cocktail that adds a touch of sweetness with the addition of raspberry liqueur. This drink is perfect for those who prefer a sweeter cocktail and want to experiment with different flavors.

Lemon Zest Twist

Many White Lady recipes call for a lemon zest twist as a garnish. This adds a nice touch of citrus to the drink and enhances the flavors of the gin and triple sec. Be sure to use a sharp peeler to get thin strips of lemon zest, and twist them over the drink before serving.

If you’re worried about raw egg whites, be sure to use free-range chicken eggs from a known and trusted source. With or without the egg white, though, you’ll enjoy this refreshing delight.

The White Lady
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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