Lady Be Good Cocktail Recipe

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Lady Be Good Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Lady Be Good cocktail is a classic cocktail that dates back to the early 20th century. It was named after the popular song 'Oh, Lady Be Good!' by George and Ira Gershwin. This cocktail was a favorite among the high society and was often enjoyed at sophisticated gatherings and parties.

  • Origin: Early 20th century
  • Named after: 'Oh, Lady Be Good!' song
  • Popular among: High society

How Lady Be Good Tastes?

The Lady Be Good cocktail is a delightful mix of sweet, tart, and slightly bitter flavors. It has a smooth, velvety texture with a hint of fruitiness from the orange liqueur and a subtle warmth from the whiskey.

Interesting facts about Lady Be Good

  • The Lady Be Good cocktail was popular during the Prohibition era.
  • It is a variation of the classic whiskey sour.
  • The cocktail is sometimes garnished with a cherry or an orange twist.



  • Why 2 oz?: We're using a gentle 2 oz pour to ensure the whiskey provides a strong backbone without overpowering the cocktail's delicate balance. Too much, and it'll be like a bull in a china shop; too little, and it might as well take a nap.

Alex Green

Orange Liqueur

  • Why 1 oz?: At 1 oz, the orange liqueur is like the best supporting actor, enhancing the lead without stealing the scene. Skimp on it, and your cocktail might fall flat, but pour too liberally and you might as well kiss that whiskey flavor goodbye.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

  • Why 0.5 oz?: Half an ounce provides just the right amount of zing—like a splash of sunlight on a cloudy day. More could turn your drink into a sour pucker-fest, less and it might lose its spark.

Mary Mitkina

Simple Syrup

  • Why 0.5 oz?: This is the peacemaker, balancing out the tartness without making a sugar rush. Miss the mark and your cocktail is either a tart monster or a candy shop nightmare.

Alex Green

Egg White

  • Why 1?: One egg white gives that silky frothiness we're after. No egg white, and the texture's as flat as a pancake. Too much, and you're in meringue territory.

Emma Rose

Angostura Bitters

  • Why 2 dashes?: A couple of dashes are the spice of life here. They're like a wise old man whispering words of wisdom to the rest of the ingredients. Forget them, and the cocktail loses a layer of complexity.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Twist

  • Why a garnish?: The orange twist isn't just a looker; it's the aromatic encore that lingers on your senses with every sip. Its absence is like a joke without a punchline.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Lady Be Good Drink

  1. Combine ingredients: In a cocktail shaker, combine the whiskey, orange liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white, and Angostura bitters.
  2. Dry shake: Shake the mixture without ice to emulsify the egg white and create a frothy texture.
  3. Add ice: Fill the shaker with ice and shake again until well-chilled.
  4. Strain: Double strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Garnish: Garnish with an orange twist.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh ingredients: Always use fresh lemon juice and orange liqueur for the best taste.
  • Shake well: Make sure to shake the cocktail well to properly mix all the ingredients and create a frothy texture.
  • Chill your glass: Always serve your cocktail in a chilled glass for the best experience.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Savory Appetizers: The citrus notes of the cocktail work well with light and savory appetizers like smoked salmon canapés or cheese boards featuring mild cheeses such as brie or gouda.
  • Seafood: Lemon and orange flavors complement seafood dishes. Consider shrimp scampi, grilled fish, or a fresh ceviche.
  • Desserts: Sweet and citrus elements of the Lady Be Good make it a nice companion for desserts like lemon meringue pie or orange chiffon cake.

Drink Pairings

  • Champagne: The effervescence of champagne can cleanse the palate between sips of the cocktail.
  • Sparkling Water: A palate cleanser that also keeps you hydrated.
  • Craft Beer: A light pale ale with citrus notes can echo the flavors in the cocktail.

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What you could change in Lady Be Good

  • Whiskey: You can substitute the whiskey with bourbon or rye.
  • Orange liqueur: If you don't have orange liqueur, you can use Grand Marnier or Cointreau.
  • Simple syrup: If you don't have simple syrup, you can make your own by mixing equal parts sugar and water and heating until the sugar dissolves.

Explore all drinks starting with L here

And of course - twists🍹

Lady Be Green

  • Ingredients: Swap out the whiskey for a botanical gin, keep the rest.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, but with gin. You'll get a fresher, more herbaceous take on the classic.
  • Taste: Expect a garden party in your mouth—floral, with hints of juniper and a soft citrus caress.

Spicy Lady

  • Ingredients: Keep the original, but add a small slice of jalapeño to the shaker.
  • Recipe: Ensure to shake vigorously to infuse the spicy notes of jalapeño evenly.
  • Taste: A zesty twist that brings heat to our Lady, like a flapper dancing the Charleston on a summer night.

Lady Be Bold

  • Ingredients: Use a smoked whiskey and a sprig of rosemary for garnish.
  • Recipe: The same method as before, but the smokiness will make a grand entrance.
  • Taste: Imagine the Lady took a walk through a forest; it's bold, earthy, and intriguingly smoky.

In case you forgot basics how to make Lady Be Good

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Lady Be Good

What type of whiskey is best suited for the 'Lady Be Good' cocktail?

Generally, a high-quality bourbon or rye whiskey works well with this cocktail. However, the choice of whiskey can be subjective and can depend on your personal preference.

How does the name of a cocktail typically relate to its ingredients?

The name of a cocktail can sometimes provide hints about its ingredients or origin. However, 'Lady Be Good' doesn't directly pertain to its ingredients but is named after a popular song.

How did the Prohibition era influence cocktail culture?

The Prohibition era, from 1920 to 1933, led to the rise of speakeasies where cocktails like 'Lady Be Good' were often served as they helped mask the taste of bootleg alcohol with their mix of flavors.

What can I use if I don’t have a cocktail shaker?

If a cocktail shaker is not available, you can use a mason jar with a lid or two glasses. Pour the cocktail mix between the two glasses to mix.

What can be used as a substitute for Angostura bitters?

In case of non-availability, Angostura bitters can be substituted with other aromatic bitters or herbal liqueurs. However, it should be noted that different bitters may slightly alter the taste of your cocktail.

What kind of occasions is this drink suitable for?

Given its historical popularity among 'high society' and its sophisticated taste, the 'Lady Be Good' cocktail would be a good choice for formal gatherings, dinner parties or even just a classy night in.

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