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White Lady Cocktail Recipe

Also known as the Chelsea Sidecar or the Delilah, the White Lady cocktail is one you won’t want to miss.

It’s a tart-n-tangy sour cocktail that’s as elegant as it is delicious. 

It’s citrus-forward, heavy on tartness, and light on sweeteners. And the egg foam gives it a smooth, silky.

White lady cocktails served on wine glasses garnished with lemon twist.
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What’s in a White Lady Cocktail?

The White Lady is one of those roaring 1920s cocktails that’ll never go out of style.

It was originally created by Harry MacElhone in 1919, at Ciro’s Club in London. And it had a slightly different vibe.

Between the crème de menthe, triple sec, and lemon, it was unusual, to say the least.

Luckily, he tweaked the recipe in 1929 while running a bar in Paris. And this version is the one that stuck.

It’s crisp, clean, and tart. Not to mention refreshing! So, if you’re a fan of gin cocktails, it’s a must-make.

Here’s what you’ll need to mix it up: 

  • Gin: Use high-quality gin for the best flavor. I recommend Hendrick’s or American Aviation.
  • Triple Sec: Any variety of triple sec will work, but I prefer Cointreau. 
  • Lemon: Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a must for the drink. Then, use the peel as a garnish. 
  • Egg White: The egg white is optional, but I highly recommend it. The drink just isn’t a true White Lady without it.
  • Ice: Use large cubes that won’t melt as quickly. 

Note: that the White Lady cocktail is quite dry and sour. So feel free to add half an ounce of simple syrup if you prefer sweeter drinks.

Portions of lemon juice, egg white, triple sec and gin in bowls.

How to Make a White Lady Cocktail 

As simple as this drink is, there are a few crucial steps to making it taste just right.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Chill the glass. Either freeze it for 15-30 minutes or fill it with ice water (discard the water before pouring the drink).

2. Dry shake the cocktail ingredients. That’s a shake without the ice. See below for more details.

3. Shake with ice. To chill the drink.

4. Strain, garnish, and serve. Strain the cocktail into the chilled glass. Then, garnish it with a lemon peel (if desired) and serve. Enjoy! 

Make the Best Egg White Foam with A Dry Shake 

If you’ve never made a sour cocktail before and don’t know what a dry shake is, don’t fret.

It’s simple:

Most cocktail recipes ask you to shake the ingredients with ice to chill the drink.

But for an egg white foamy top, you need to shake them without the ice. It’s the only way to get the froth!

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You see, ice will dilute the egg whites and you’ll end up with a runny mess instead of a lovely foam topping. 

Need a vegan substitute? Use 2 teaspoons of aquafaba instead. It will work almost as well, though the drink’s texture may not be as silky. 

If you have a handheld frother, you can use that instead of dry shaking.

Two glasses of white lady cocktail garnished with lemon twist.

Can I Make this Recipe Without Egg White? 

You can make the White Lady without an egg white. However, as I said above, it won’t be the same drink.

The taste, texture, and appearance will all be different. 

I highly suggest adding the egg white or at least using aquafaba as a substitute.

But if you really don’t want to, just leave it out. You’ll still have a great drink!

More Classic Cocktails To Try

Brandy Alexander
Classic Margarita
Whiskey Sour
Pink Lady

White Lady

Course: DrinksCuisine: British


Prep time





The White Lady cocktail is not to be missed. It’s a tart-n-tangy sour cocktail that’s as elegant as it is delicious. And it couldn’t be easier to make!


  • 2 ounces gin

  • 3/4 ounce triple sec (Cointreau)

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 egg white (optional)

  • ice

  • lemon peel, for garnish (optional)


  • Fill a coupe glass with ice water. Set aside.
  • Pour the gin, triple sec, lemon juice, and egg white into a cocktail shaker. Dry shake (without ice) vigorously for about 20-30 seconds.
  • Add ice and shake for another 15-20 seconds to chill the drink.
  • Pour the ice water out of the glass.
  • Strain the mixture into the chilled glass and garnish with a lemon peel.
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • If you’re not using egg white, there’s no need for a dry shake. Just shake the ingredients with ice directly.
White Lady Cocktail

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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