White Lady Cocktail: The Ultimate Recipe

The White Lady is a classic cocktail featuring gin, orange liqueur, and lemon juice, often with egg white for a frothy texture. Served in a martini glass and garnished with a lemon twist, it is a harmonious blend of botanical, citrus, and sweet flavors. Its elegant appearance and refreshing taste make it popular for cocktail parties and special occasions. This cocktail pairs well with seafood and light appetizers, celebrated for its visual appeal and crisp, smooth palate.

Ingredients for White Lady Cocktail

The White Lady cocktail, a timeless and elegant drink, consists of 60 ml (2 oz) of Gin, a botanical spirit, 30 ml (1 oz) of orange liqueur, adding a sweet citrusy layer, and 15 ml (0.5 oz) of fresh lemon juice, contributing a tart edge. Optionally, 1 egg white can be included for a frothy, smooth texture. This cocktail recipe, combining the crispness of gin with the sweetness of orange liqueur and the zesty punch of lemon, crowned by the optional creamy egg froth, creates a perfectly balanced, refreshing drink.

  • Gin: 60 ml (2 oz), adds a botanical base.
  • Orange Liqueur: 30 ml (1 oz), provides sweetness and citrus notes.
  • Lemon Juice: 15 ml (0.5 oz), for a tart zing.
  • Egg White (Optional): 1 egg white, creates a frothy texture.

Ingredient Substitutes in White Lady Cocktail

In the White Lady cocktail, you can modify each ingredient for varied flavors or dietary needs.

For gin, consider vodka or even white rum for different taste profiles, and non-alcoholic gin alternatives for an alcohol-free version. Orange liqueur can be swapped with orange extract and water, orange syrup, or even citrus-flavored vodka for varying degrees of citrusy sweetness. If you’re replacing lemon juice, lime juice is a great alternative. For the egg white, vegan options like aquafaba (chickpea water) or a few drops of soy lecithin can be used to replicate the frothy texture. Additionally, commercial pasteurized egg white substitutes can also serve as a suitable alternative.

  1. Gin Substitutes: Vodka, white rum, non-alcoholic gin alternatives.
  2. Orange Liqueur Substitutes: Orange extract and water, orange syrup, citrus vodka.
  3. Lemon Juice Substitute: Lime juice.
  4. Egg White Substitutes: Commercial (e.g., pasteurized egg white) or vegan (e.g., aquafaba, soy lecithin) egg white alternatives.

Pro Tip: Remember to only include ingredients that are clear or white in color to stay true to the name of the cocktail.

Ingredient Proportions for White Lady Cocktail

The ideal ratio for a White Lady cocktail is 2:1:1:0.5, meaning 2 parts Gin, 1 part orange liqueur, 1 egg white, and half a part lemon juice. This creates a well-balanced mix, where the gin’s botanicals harmonize with the citrusy sweetness of the liqueur and the tartness of the lemon. While this ratio is widely recommended, it can be adjusted according to personal preference for a stronger or milder flavor profile.

  • Ratio: 2 parts Gin, 1 part orange liqueur, 0.5 part lemon juice, 1 egg white
  • Adjustable: Can modify proportions for personal taste preferences.

Best Ingredients for White Lady Cocktail

For the best White Lady cocktail, use high-quality gin with a distinct botanical profile, a clear or white orange liqueur for a crisp citrus note, and freshly squeezed lemon juice for the freshest, tart zing. The egg white, if used, should be fresh to ensure a silky, frothy texture. The quality of each ingredient profoundly impacts the cocktail’s final taste, making the selection crucial for a superior drinking experience.

  • Gin: Choose high-quality with a distinct botanical character.
  • Orange Liqueur: Opt for a clear or white variety for a crisp citrus note.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed for a natural tart flavor.
  • Egg White: Fresh for a silky texture (optional).

Flavor Profile of White Lady Cocktail

The White Lady cocktail offers a complex yet refreshing flavor profile. The gin provides a herbal and floral base, complemented by the sweet, citrusy notes of the orange liqueur. The lemon juice adds a bright, tart edge, balancing the sweetness. If an egg white is included, it rounds off the drink with a smooth, velvety texture. Overall, the cocktail is elegant, with a harmonious blend of botanical, citrus, and sweet flavors, making it highly drinkable and enjoyable.

  • Base Flavor: Herbal and floral from gin.
  • Citrus Notes: Sweet and bright from orange liqueur and lemon juice.
  • Texture: Smooth and velvety with egg white.
  • Overall: Elegant, harmonious, refreshing.

Tools & Equipment for White Lady Cocktail

To craft the perfect White Lady cocktail, you’ll need a few essential bar tools. A cocktail shaker is key for blending the ingredients thoroughly and achieving a chilled, well-mixed drink. A jigger ensures accurate measurement of the spirits and juices, essential for maintaining the cocktail’s balance. A strainer is necessary to filter out any unwanted solids, especially when using egg white. Lastly, a citrus juicer or squeezer helps extract fresh juice from lemons, vital for the cocktail’s freshness and zest.

  • Cocktail Shaker: For blending and chilling.
  • Jigger: For accurate ingredient measurement.
  • Strainer: To remove solids, especially important with egg white.
  • Citrus Juicer/Squeezer: For fresh lemon juice.

Instructions for Preparation of White Lady Cocktail

To prepare a White Lady cocktail, start by chilling a martini glass. In a cocktail shaker, combine 60 ml of gin, 30 ml of orange liqueur, and 15 ml of fresh lemon juice. For a creamy texture, add 1 egg white. Then add ice and shake vigorously. This ensures a perfectly chilled and frothy cocktail. Strain into the chilled glass, and the drink is ready to serve.

  1. Chill Glass: Start by chilling your cocktail glass, either by placing it in the freezer or filling it with ice water.
  2. Measure Ingredients: Using a jigger, measure and pour 60 ml (2 oz) Gin, 30 ml (1 oz) orange liqueur, and 15 ml (1 oz) lemon juice into the shaker. Add one egg white if desired.
  3. Shake Well: Add ice and shake vigorously again until well-chilled.
  4. Strain: Strain the cocktail into the chilled glass. The egg white, if used, should create a smooth frothy layer on top.
  5. Garnish: Decorate the cocktail with a lemon twist, first extracting the oils over the glass.

Pro Tip: If you want the egg white to create a lot of froth, first perform a ‘dry shake‘ (shaking without ice) to emulsify the egg. Then add ice and shake vigorously again until well-chilled.

Stir or Shake for White Lady Cocktail

The White Lady cocktail should always be shaken, not stirred. Shaking is essential for integrating the citrus juice and egg white (if used) thoroughly with the gin and liqueur. This technique ensures a uniform, chilled, and slightly diluted mix, enhancing the drink’s overall texture and flavor. Stirring, on the other hand, won’t achieve the same level of emulsification and chilling needed for this particular cocktail.

If you are not using the egg white in the recipe, you could get away with stirring the cocktail instead of shaking.

  • Method: Always shake, not stir.
  • Reason: Ensures thorough integration and optimal texture.

Pro Tip: Try dry shaking or other shaking method to maximize the creaminess and froth from the egg white.

Ice, Chilling & Dilution for White Lady Cocktail

Ice plays a crucial role in the White Lady cocktail. Use plenty of fresh, high-quality ice cubes for shaking. This not only chills the drink and contributes to the necessary dilution, balancing the strength and flavors, but also helps to properly emulsify the egg. Pre-chilling the glass, either in the freezer or with ice water, ensures the cocktail remains cold and refreshing upon serving.

When serving, the drink is typically presented without ice to preserve its smooth texture and strong flavors. However, if a colder serving temperature is preferred, a single large ice cube or spehre can be added to the glass, minimizing further dilution while keeping the drink chilled.

  • Ice Quality: Use fresh, high-quality ice.
  • Amount for Shaking: Plenty in shaker for effective chilling and dilution.
  • Pre-Chilling Glass: Essential for a cold serving temperature.
  • Serving: Typically served without ice; optional large cube for extra chill with minimal dilution.

Scaling the White Lady Cocktail for a Group

To serve the White Lady cocktail to a group, multiply the ingredient quantities by the number of servings desired. Mix the ingredients in a larger container or pitcher (with lid), with or without the egg whites. Adjust the proportions slightly if necessary to cater to the group’s taste preferences. Then just before serving, shake in batches to maintain the cocktail’s signature texture.

  • Multiplying Ingredients: Based on the number of servings.
  • Mixing: Use a larger container or pitcher.
  • Adjust Proportions: If needed, for group preferences.
  • Shaking: In batches, just before serving, to preserve quality.

Troubleshooting Common Mistakes in Making White Lady Cocktail

The biggest mistakes in making a White Lady cocktail include incorrect proportions, over or under shaking, and poor quality ingredients.

Ensure the balance of gin, orange liqueur, and lemon juice is maintained. Over-shaking, especially with egg white, can result in too much froth, while under-shaking leads to inadequate chilling and integration. Using subpar ingredients will also significantly affect the taste. Lastly, don’t overlook the importance of fresh lemon juice and proper glass chilling for the optimal cocktail experience.

  • Balanced Proportions: Maintain the balance of ingredients.
  • Adequate Shaking: Avoid over or under shaking.
  • Ingredients Quality: Use high-quality for better taste.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice & Glass Chilling: Crucial for the best experience.

Presentation of White Lady Cocktail

The presentation of the White Lady cocktail is as important as its preparation, because it enhances the sensory experience when enjoying the drink.

Glassware for White Lady Cocktail

The classic choice for serving a White Lady cocktail is a martini glass, which elegantly displays its clarity and frothy top. The martini glass’s wide brim also enhances the aromatic experience of the drink. Alternatively, a coupe glass can be used, offering a similar aesthetic with a more rounded bowl. For a more modern twist, serving this cocktail in a Nick & Nora glass provides a vintage yet sophisticated look, perfect for those who appreciate classic cocktail culture.

  • Classic: Martini glass for elegance and aroma enhancement.
  • Alternative: Coupe glass for a similar aesthetic with a rounded bowl.
  • Modern Twist: Nick & Nora glass for a vintage, sophisticated presentation.

Garnish for White Lady Cocktail

A classic garnish for the White Lady is a thin lemon twist, which complements its citrus notes. To place, simply twist the lemon peel over the drink to release its oils and then drop it in or perch it on the rim. For a creative twist, consider using a fresh or dehydrated lemon wheel, adding a subtle, elegant touch. Edible flowers or a sprig of fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary can also be used for a more aromatic and visually appealing garnish, enhancing the cocktail’s botanical characteristics.

  • Classic: Lemon twist, enhances citrus notes.
  • Creative Options:
    • Fresh or dehydrated lemon wheel for subtlety and elegance.
    • Edible flowers or a sprig of fresh herbs for aroma and visual appeal.

Variations & Riffs on the White Lady Cocktail

Explore the White Lady’s versatility with similar cocktails: the Sidecar, substituting gin with cognac; the Margarita, replacing gin with tequila; the Cosmopolitan, using vodka and cranberry; the Kamikaze, a mix of vodka, orange liqueur, and lime; the Aviation, adding maraschino and crème de violette to gin; and the Corpse Reviver #2, a blend of gin, orange liqueur, Lillet Blanc, and absinthe. Each offers a unique twist on the classic cocktail.

The White Lady cocktail, with its elegant blend of gin, orange liqueur, and lemon juice, serves as a base for several popular variations. Some of these include:

  • The Sidecar: Swaps gin for cognac, offering a richer, deeper flavor profile.
  • The Margarita: Uses tequila instead of gin, adding a distinctly Mexican flair.
  • The Cosmopolitan: Substitutes vodka for gin and adds cranberry juice, known for its vibrant color and tartness.
  • The Kamikaze: Made with vodka, orange liqueur, and lime juice, it’s a more straightforward, citrus-forward cocktail.
  • The Aviation: Incorporates gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, and crème de violette, known for its floral notes and unique color.
  • The Corpse Reviver #2: A complex mix of gin, lemon juice, orange liqueur, Lillet Blanc, and a dash of absinthe.

These variations each bring their unique twist to the classic White Lady, showcasing the versatility of this cocktail.

Experimenting with Your Own Riff on the White Lady

Creating your own riff on the White Lady cocktail invites experimentation with various ingredients.

Replace gin with other spirits like vodka, even flavored, or white rum, for a different base flavor. Experiment with other citrus juices like grapefruit or blood orange for a different tartness. Instead of orange liqueur, try other liqueurs like elderflower for a floral note, or amaretto for a nutty twist. Incorporate bitters for complexity or syrups for unique flavors. Use unconventional garnishes like spiced rims or aromatic herbs.

Remember, the key is balance – ensuring that your modifications harmonize well with the original flavor profile.

  • Switch the Spirits: Try vodka or white rum.
  • Modify the Citrus: Experiment with grapefruit or blood orange juice.
  • Alter the Liqueur: Use elderflower liqueur or amaretto.
  • Add Extras: Add bitters or syrups.
  • Garnish Creatively: Try aromatic spices or herbs.

Serving Occasions for White Lady Cocktail

The White Lady cocktail, with its elegant and refreshing taste, is perfectly suited for a variety of occasions. It’s an excellent choice for cocktail parties and social gatherings, where its sophisticated profile can impress guests. The cocktail’s light and crisp nature also makes it ideal for brunches or afternoon events. Furthermore, it serves as a great pre-dinner drink, known as an aperitif, to stimulate the appetite. The White Lady’s versatility also makes it suitable for celebrations, intimate date nights, or even as a relaxing evening drink.

  • Cocktail Parties: Impresses with its sophistication.
  • Brunches: Light and refreshing for daytime.
  • Pre-Dinner/Aperitif: Stimulates the appetite.
  • Celebrations & Date Nights: Versatile for special moments.
  • Relaxing Evenings: Perfect for unwinding.

Food Pairings for White Lady Cocktail

The White Lady cocktail pairs wonderfully with a range of foods. Its citrus and botanical notes complement seafood dishes like grilled shrimp or salmon tartare. The cocktail’s lightness and acidity make it a great match for creamy or rich foods, balancing flavors of dishes like chicken Alfredo or cheese platters. For appetizers, consider pairing it with bruschetta or light canapés. The White Lady also goes well with Asian cuisines, especially those with a slight spice, as it provides a refreshing counterbalance to the heat.

  • Seafood: Grilled shrimp, salmon tartare.
  • Creamy/Rich Foods: Chicken Alfredo, cheese platters.
  • Appetizers: Bruschetta, light canapés.
  • Asian Cuisine: Complements spicy dishes.

Why is the cocktail called a “White Lady”?

The White Lady cocktail gets its name from its white color, achieved by blending gin, clear orange liqueur, lemon juice, and optional egg white. Historically, it honors Eveline Alice Wander Gorkiewicz, who helped British prisoners of war escape Turkey in World War I, disguising as a Turkish wash lady, dressed in white.

White Lady Cocktail

White Lady Cocktail Recipe

Embrace the elegance of the White Lady cocktail, a visually stunning drink with a smooth texture and a refreshing blend of gin, orange liqueur, and lemon juice, often enriched with egg white. Served in a martini glass with a lemon twist garnish, this cocktail is perfect for sophisticated gatherings and pairs beautifully with seafood and light appetizers, renowned for its crisp flavor and classic charm.
Total Time 5 minutes
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  • 1 Cocktail shaker
  • 1 Measuring jigger
  • 1 Strainer
  • 1 Citrus juicer
  • 1 Citrus peeler/knife (or knife - for garnish)


  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Orange liqueur (colorless - like Triple Sec or Cointreau)
  • ½ oz Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 piece Egg white (optional; fresh or pasteurized; or plant-based alternatives like aquafaba)
  • 1 piece Lemon peel (optional - for garnish)
  • Ice cubes (for shaking)


  • Chill the Glass: Begin by chilling your martini glass in the freezer or by filling it with ice water.
  • Combine Ingredients: In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, orange liqueur, and fresh lemon juice. Add egg white if you’re using it.
  • Add Ice: Fill up the rest of the cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake: Shake vigorously until well-chilled and the egg is properly emulsified.
  • Strain: Strain the cocktail into the chilled glass. If you’ve used egg white, you should see a frothy layer forming on top.
  • Garnish: Add a twist of lemon peel, releasing its oils over the drink before placing it in or on the rim of the glass.


Calories: 240kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 3gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.04gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gSodium: 53mgPotassium: 83mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 4IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 0.1mg
Calories: 240kcal
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktail
Keyword: gin, orange liqueur
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