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White Lady


Strong, citrusy, and very satisfying, this prohibition era cocktail is basically a Side Car with gin (or Margarita with lemon juice and gin) and was very popular in its day. 


It was created by cocktail pioneer Harry MacElhone, proprietor of the legendary Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, France. There is an earlier version of this drink that appears in MacElhone's 1922 cocktail book "Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails" which has Cointreau as it's base with brandy and creme de menthe as modifiers.  I've never tried it, but I think it's safe to say this is probably best forgotten.  By 1930 Harry had made some sensible modifications and drink was more or less what you see here.


Some recipes call for the addition of an egg white, though I prefer to leave it out to give the drink more of a bracing edge. Ratios of gin to Cointreau to lemon vary from recipe to recipe. , these are the proportions I like best.  You'll notice this is very similar to my Side Car and Margarita recipes.



  • 2 oz gin

  • 1 oz Cointreau - on another high quality orange liqueur.

  • ¾ oz lemon juice

  • ½ oz simple syrup


Combine all ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice.  Shake for 8-10 seconds and strain into a chilled coupe glass.  Garnish with an expressed lemon peel.

rye whiskey, social hour, tom macy, cocktail, classic cocktail

If you make a White Lady, let me see!  

Tag a photo with #socialhourcocktails on Instagram.

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