A simple but delectable cocktail recipe, containing only 3 ingredients and with dry but complex flavour and if made well, will be a real pleasure on the tongue. I have adapted the recipe slightly, while still using gin, I have a ‘berry’ nice blackberry version by Whitley Neil.
This flavour sets off the cocktail nicely. Still with complex flavours and a nice dry finish my version of the classic White Lady is as delightful on the taste buds while giving it a little twist.
Harry Craddock, who wrote the cocktail book, ‘The Savoy,’ is said to have created this drink around Prohibition times. A classic 1920’s cocktail that has always kept it’s popularity, even in more recent cocktail books, and with a few varieties to transform the classic, why not experiment and avoid paying the cost of a White Lady at the Savoy.
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What’s the difference between Cointreau and triple sec?
Cointreau and Triple Sec are orange liqueurs with several key differences (and one is also the name of the style of liqueur). Here’s a simple view:
Cointreau is a clear, orange-flavoured liqueur made from sweet and bitter orange peels. It’s known as a type of Triple Sec, which is the general name for a category of dry orange liqueur. Triple Sec translated is “triple dry” in French. Cointreau was introduced in the 1880’s in France.
Cointreau is finely balanced between bitter and sweet, with warmer spices that add complexity and fine distinction. It has a fragrant aroma and a smooth, clean finish. Cointreau contains a higher alcohol volume than Triple Sec, at 40% ABV. Triple Sec is defined as any clear dry orange-flavored liqueur, including Cointreau. In most stores, bottles labeled Triple Sec will be generally lower in quality and more affordable than Cointreau. Triple Sec has a less complex flavour than Cointreau, it is very citrusy, and almost like vodka and orange. The quality can range according to brand and price.
Cocktails in the same family
The White Lady is a variation of the Sidecar cocktail! The Sidecar is one of the most classic sour cocktails there is, aside from the Whiskey Sour. It is made with Cognac (brandy),with lemon and Cointreau, the flavour is very complex, warm, crisp, dry and also rich at the same time.
Another similar drink to the White Lady is the Gin Fizz which uses a simple syrup rater than the more complex, Cointreau, just add a splash of soda water for the “fizz.”
Prep Time: 5 minutes. Recipe makes one drink and is suitable for a Vegetarian diet.
Ingredients for White Lady cocktail
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) gin
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Cointreau or triple sec
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice
*Optional: Egg white for a frothy finish if using the popular variation.
For the garnish: Lemon twist or lemon slice.
For a Vegan recipe, substitute the egg white for 2 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas.)
You will need a cocktail shaker and glasses similar to a Babycham glass or in other words, a coupe glass.
Creating the White Lady cocktail
Add the gin, Cointreau, lemon juice, and egg white to a cocktail shaker without ice. Shake for 15 seconds.
Add the ice to the cocktail shaker. Shake again for 30 seconds.
Strain the drink into a martini or cocktail glass; the foam will collect at the top. Serve garnished with a lemon twist or lemon wedge.
The egg white foam topping is optional and not actually one of the classic ingredients, but it’s become a popular way to serve it. It makes for a richer and creamier texture, and it looks amazing, too.
The technique to get the best frothy egg white form is called a Dry Shake. This technique can be used in other egg white cocktails like the Gin Fizz, Sloe Gin Fizz, Boston Sour, Tequila Sour, and Vodka Sour.
How to get the frothy white misty layer to a cocktail
The first shake without ice lets the protein in the egg begin to form foam, instead of being diluted by the ice.
The second shake with ice cools the drink and strengthens the foam. Strain it into the glass and you’ll get a thick, white frothy layer.
If you want a vegan substitute for the egg white foam? Don’t worry: you can use aquafaba. This is the liquid that’s in a can of chickpeas. Because it’s starchy, it can work as a binder similar to an egg.
An easy to make classy cocktail that’s very quaffable and delicious especially if you’re like me and love those drier flavours with nice complex notes and smooth finish. I always think of James Bond movies when making this cocktail, “Shaken not stirred. “Even though his tipple was a martini.
If you fancy upping your recipe to a Queen Elizabeth you can add a small spray of Absinthe after making the white lady and you have a royal cocktail. But take it easy, this already packs a punch.