White Lady Cocktail Recipe

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White Lady 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 White Lady cocktail is a classic gin-based drink that dates back to the 1920s. It was created by Harry MacElhone, the owner of the famous Harry's New York Bar in Paris. This cocktail is popular among gin lovers and those who enjoy a refreshing, citrusy drink. The White Lady has a sophisticated and elegant appearance, making it a popular choice for upscale events and gatherings.

How White Lady Tastes?

The White Lady has a delicate balance of sweet and sour flavors, with a hint of citrus from the lemon juice. The gin provides a strong, herbal backbone, while the orange liqueur adds a touch of sweetness and complexity. The egg white gives the cocktail a smooth, velvety texture that is both light and refreshing.

Interesting facts about White Lady

  • The White Lady is sometimes referred to as a 'gin sour' due to its combination of gin, lemon juice, and sugar.
  • The addition of egg white in the recipe is optional, but it creates a frothy, creamy texture that many people enjoy.
  • The cocktail is traditionally served in a chilled coupe glass, which helps to maintain its cold temperature and elegant presentation.


A few good options for White Lady are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


The botanical blend of gin creates a complex and aromatic base. At 2 oz, it brings enough spirit to bolster the cocktail, without drowning out the subtle flavors. Dial it back, and you might as well be sipping on citrus juice; dial it up and the cocktail becomes a juniper-heavy hammer.

Emma Rose

Orange Liqueur

With 1 oz, orange liqueur adds a sweet, citrusy depth that’s imperative to balance things out. Swap it out for another liqueur and you’ll likely veer off into a different cocktail universe – tread carefully, young grasshopper!

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

An oz of lemon juice? Sharp choice. It cuts through the sweetness, providing that necessary zing. Leave it out, and your cocktail may taste flat, like a joke without a punchline. Fresh is best - bottled juice could lead to a duller taste.

Mary Mitkina

Simple Syrup

A mere half an ounce of simple syrup sweetens the deal. Too much could make your White Lady seem like she's had one sugar cube too many; too little and she may come off a bit too tart for your taste buds.

Emma Rose

Egg White

One egg white gives the cocktail a silkier mouthfeel and that sexy frothy cap. Omitting it won't be the end of the world, but you'll lose that luscious texture and visual appeal. If you're vegan, fret not - aquafaba (chickpea brine) is a neat switcheroo.

Alex Green

Orange Peel

The aromatic garnish is more than a pretty face; expressing its oils adds to the sensory experience. It's like looking at a Monet without your glasses - you get the picture, but you miss the details. No orange peel? A lemon twist can save the day.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make White Lady Drink

  1. Chill the coupe glass: Place the coupe glass in the freezer for a few minutes to chill.
  2. Combine ingredients: In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, orange liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white.
  3. Dry shake: Shake the cocktail shaker without ice for about 10 seconds to emulsify the egg white and create a frothy texture.
  4. Add ice: Fill the shaker with ice and shake again for another 10-15 seconds to chill and dilute the cocktail.
  5. Strain and serve: Double strain the cocktail into the chilled coupe glass to remove any ice chips or bits of egg white.
  6. Garnish: Express the oils from the orange peel over the cocktail and place it on the rim of the glass.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh citrus juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice will give the cocktail a brighter, more vibrant flavor.
  • Double strain: To ensure a smooth texture, double strain the cocktail to remove any bits of egg white.
  • Chill your glass: A chilled glass will keep your cocktail colder for longer, enhancing its refreshing qualities.

Perfect Pairings


Try pairing the White Lady with delicate seafood like shrimp cocktail or light fish dishes that won’t overpower the drink's elegant citrus notes.


The acidity in the White Lady pairs well with creamy appetizers such as deviled eggs, or pair it with savoury canapés at a cocktail party for a sophisticated match.


A fresh green salad with a citrus-based dressing could complement the zesty lemon profile of the cocktail, making for a refreshing combination.


Finish off with a dessert that has a bit of tang, like a lemon tart or citrus sorbet, to echo the bright flavors of the drink.

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What you could change in White Lady

  • Gin: If you're not a fan of gin, you can substitute it with vodka.
  • Orange Liqueur: If you don't have orange liqueur, you can use Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
  • Egg White: If you're vegan or allergic to eggs, you can use aquafaba (chickpea water) as a substitute.

Explore all drinks starting with W here

And of course - twists🍹

Berry Lady

Substitute 0.5 oz orange liqueur with 0.5 oz crème de mure (blackberry liqueur), and add a few fresh blackberries. You'll end up with a fruitier concoction with a beautiful violet hue. Muddle the berries before the dry shake to infuse the gin with berry goodness.

Herbal Lady

Use 2 oz of a herb-infused gin, like a rosemary or basil variant. This twist takes you to a garden of delight, where the herbaceous gin dances with the citrusy groove. Just don't forget to smack the herbs before infusing the gin - it tickles out the flavors.

Spiced Lady

Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a small slice of jalapeño to the shaker. Looking for a cocktail with a kick? The spice will not only nudge the gin but will also give you a pleasantly warm afterglow. Spice to taste, unless you want to turn your lady into a fire-breathing dragon.

In case you forgot basics how to make White Lady

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 White Lady

Why is the drink called 'White Lady'?

The 'White Lady' nickname is mainly attributed to the pale color of the drink, which is caused by the gin, egg white, and lemon juice. The resulting froth from shaking the cocktail also contributes to the drink's white appearance.

What is a good time to serve a White Lady cocktail?

The White Lady, with its clean and refreshing flavors, is perfect as a pre-dinner cocktail (or an aperitif). It can also be served at brunches, cocktail parties, or any celebration that requires a sophisticated and lightly flavoured drink.

What is the best garnish to use for a White Lady?

Typically, an orange peel is used to garnish a White Lady. However, you can also experiment with a cherry or a lemon wheel for a different twist in both presentation and taste.

What type of gin should I use for a White Lady?

A London Dry Gin is typically used in a White Lady because of its robust and botanical characteristics. But feel free to experiment with other types of gin according to your preference.

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