The Pink Lady cocktail is a classic Prohibition-era drink I just can’t get enough of.
It’s similar to the Clover Club or White Lady but with more fruity notes, thanks to Applejack Brandy. And it’s so good, it stuck around long after the speakeasies closed.
So, the next time you’re in the mood for a gin cocktail, try the Pink Lady! She won’t disappoint.
Why Is It Called a Pink Lady?
You might think this sweet little number got its name simply from its stunning pink hue.
And you’re not wrong. But that’s not the whole story.
During the Prohibition, the gin available wasn’t exactly tasty. So, clever bartenders added sweet grenadine and citrus to mask its unappealing flavor.
And rumor has it the Pink Lady earned its name from the 1911 Broadway musical “The Pink Lady”.
Through the 1920s, the popularity of the Pink Lady skyrocketed. People loved its light flavor and pretty appearance.
It was a very fashionable drink for women back then. And it’s stood the test of time, thanks to its fruity finish.
Here’s everything you’ll need for a Pink Lady. Don’t worry, I’ll get into more precise measurements at the bottom of the page.
- London Dry Gin. Use your favorite brand of gin, but I find London Dry Gin works best. It has undernotes of juniper berries that take the flavor over the top.
- Applejack Brandy. It’s slightly sweet and sour with undertones of crisp apples.
- Lemon juice. Fresh is always best! Skip the bottled stuff and use the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon for the best flavor.
- Grenadine. Grenadine is what makes this lady pink. It delivers bold sweetness with a hint of fruity pomegranate flavor.
- Egg white. It’s not a pink lady without a frothy white foam on top! It adds such a wonderful creamy finish. (If you don’t like the idea of uncooked egg whites, I have an alternative below.)
- Maraschino cherry. The garnish is optional, but it adds a pop of extra color. Plus, who doesn’t love a sweet bite with their drinks?
How to Make a Pink Lady Cocktail
Like all the best gin cocktails, this one is super simple. The only equipment you need is a cocktail shaker!
Check out how easy it all comes together:
1. Fill the cocktail shaker. Add the gin, brandy, grenadine, lemon juice, and an egg white.
2. Shake it up! Shake vigorously for 20 seconds to create the signature foam.
3. Add ice. Chill the drink with another 20-second shake, or until the shaker feels cold to the touch.
4. Pour and serve. Pour into coupe glasses and garnish with a cherry. Enjoy!
Tips and Variations
Check out these tips for the perfect Pink Lady!
And if you want to try out something a little different, I included a few tasty variations, too.
- Egg white substitute. Use pasteurized egg whites if you can find them at the grocery store. If all else fails, a little whipped cream will do the trick!
- Always add ice last. You need to create the foam before you chill the drink.
- Adjust the sweetness. The Pink Lady is a very sweet cocktail! But you can adjust the level of sweetness by adding less grenadine.
- Chill the coupe glasses. This gin cocktail tastes best when everything is nice and cold. So, pop the glasses in the freezer for 30-60 minutes before serving.
I mentioned earlier that the Pink Lady cocktail is similar to the White Lady and the Clover Club.
So, if you enjoyed this drink and want to expand your cocktail horizons, I can’t recommend them enough!
Here’s how you can modify this recipe to make another classic cocktail:
The White Lady
The difference between a Pink Lady and a White lady is in the sweetener. Instead of grenadine, use Triple Sec.
It’s sweet like a Pink Lady, but Triple Sec adds a citrusy finish.
The Clover Club
The Clover Club looks like a Pink Lady, but the flavor is a little different. Instead of grenadine, it infuses raspberry syrup.
Also, omitting Applejack Brandy makes the Clover Club less sweet than the Pink Lady.
More Sweet Cocktails You Have to Try
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