White Lady
White Lady
White Lady

hapney studio

White Lady

Sale price£750.00

Gin, Cointreau, Lemon, Egg White

A tale of two Harrys.

Acrylic on canvas 76.2 x 50.8 cm / 30 x 20 in

A bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory.

Albert Einstein

The White Lady, a cocktail of Jazz-era mystique, boasts not one but two distinct identities, and its history is a fascinating journey through time. Its story begins in the early 1920s at London's chic Ciro's Club, where the ingenious Scottish bartender Harry McElhone crafted a curious concoction of brandy, crème de menthe, and Cointreau, documented in his 1922 edition of the ABC of Mixing Cocktails.

However, McElhone's migration to Paris and the opening of Harry's New York Bar marked a turning point. Here, he reimagined the White Lady, simplifying it into an equal-parts Sour by harmonising gin, Cointreau, and fresh lemon juice.

In London, the prestigious Savoy Hotel witnessed Head Bartender Harry Craddock's contribution to the White Lady's legacy. In 1930, he doubled the gin, establishing a 2:1:1 ratio, as immortalised in his masterpiece, The Savoy Cocktail Book. This recipe has been embraced by bartenders around the world and is regarded as the quintessential version.

In contemporary renditions, some bartenders take inspiration from 1930s New York by adding egg white. This might sound unusual, but it has a magical effect. It gives the cocktail a rich, frothy texture that turns it into a smooth and delightful drink for the senses.

Harry Craddock's famous advice to drinking a cocktail "quickly, while it's laughing at you" perfectly encapsulates the enduring allure of the White Lady's creator.


0.75oz / 22.5ml Egg white (optional)

0.75oz / 22.5ml Fresh lemon juice

0.75oz / 22.5ml Cointreau

1.5oz / 45ml Gin

Lemon twist (discard)

Prepare a lemon twist garnish. Fill a coupe with cubed ice and put it to one side. Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Dry shake without ice for 10 seconds. Fill with cubed ice and shake for 10 seconds. Open and dip taste. Discard the ice from the coupe. Fine strain. Express the lemon oils over the top of the cocktail and discard.

NB: If you find this recipe a little tart, then simply add a barspoon of sugar syrup (2:1) at a time until you find the perfect balance.