Tuesday, June 21, 2011

white lady

2 oz Beefeater Gin
1/2 oz Combier Orange Liqueur
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 Egg White

Dry shake, add ice, and shake again. Strain into a wine glass.

When I was going through the Anvil's 100 Drink list, I pondered the White Lady which they listed as gin, Cointreau, and lemon. While I had definitely had that Gin Sidecar version which first appears in the Savoy Cocktail Book, I always think about the egg white-laden recipe I avoided back in the day. David Wondrich on the Chanticleer Society forum provided a bit of history about this variation, "The earliest use of egg white in the drink I've been able to find is in New York-based bon vivant Crosby Gaige's 1944 Standard Cocktail Guide; it also turns up in the Stork Club book, from 1946." True, I had other egg white Ladies, including the Pink and Perfect, I figured it was time to enjoy the White Lady this way. And since I was at Green Street where the recipe sits in their house cocktail recipe book, I asked bartender Derric Crothers to shake one up for me.

The lemon and gin contributed to the aroma's citrus and juniper notes. The juice and liqueur helped shape the soft citrussy sip, and the lemon reappeared in the swallow along with gin to round out the drink. The egg white, beside contributing a little foam to the drink, helped to make this cocktail rather smooth, soft, and ladylike and thus more true to its name. When we first had the White Lady years ago, our home bar was rather sparse and finding a classic recipe that we could make was a blessing. It was not only very do-able then at our bar and at our friends' home bars, but it turned out to be rather delightful. Indeed, the egg white version has reminded me that some of the most basic drinks with primordial bar ingredients can still be rather satisfying.

4 comments:

erik_flannestad said...

Next you have to try the original McElhone White Lady, with Brandy, Creme de Menthe and Cointreau.
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No, I'm kidding, don't do it, it's awful.

frederic said...

I would only if it were green CdM so I could make a Martian Lady. Actually, I can't think of too many drinks I choose to make or have that contain CdM. I did begrudgingly make a Stinger as part of the Anvil 100, and honestly, it wasn't bad. I know that I've seen some bars around here switch creme de cacao or other for CdM.

One other Lady that I might make some time is the Brown Lady which calls for Van der Hum (one high end store in the middle of the Massachusetts had it). It's definitely more spiced and differently citrus peel-y then Cointreau or other triple secs.

Tony Harion said...

i think the white lady can really benefit from a zest or a spray of bitter´s on top…

frederic said...

True, by today's standards, the White Lady is a bit simple and somewhat lacking in aromatics.