White Lady

November 11, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by Alanna Hale
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Makes 1 drink
Author Notes

The original white lady recipe in Harry Craddock's "Savory Cocktail Book," published in 1930, doesn't contain any egg whites. However, almost every recipe you'll find after that inexplicably does. Maybe it's because bartenders learned what I learned: While a white lady made without egg white (a gin sidecar, essentially) is a great drink, one made with egg white is absolutely sublime.

I've taken a few other liberties with this drink, but my favorite has to be the addition of the thyme-infused Cointreau. —Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Test Kitchen Notes

This is one of those cocktails you make to impress. The thyme-infused Cointreau really puts this recipe over the top. Simply combine some thyme sprigs and a bottle of Cointreau in a canning jar. Yes, you have to wait a week, but the results are so well worth it, and after you strain it and bottle it, you can keep it on your liquor shelf for as long as you'd like. It's well worth the extra step, and you'll have a fun thyme-infused twist for whatever cocktail experiments you come up with. The original cocktail was made with crème de menthe, triple sec, and lemon, according to The developer made the change, basically, because he felt like it, and the changes have stuck to this day. This definitely isn't a "classic" white lady, per se. But it's got the familiar players of gin, lemon, some sweetness from a double simple syrup, which you can see how to make below, and of course the egg white.

Note: To make double simple syrup, combine two parts sugar to one part water in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Promptly remove the pan from the heat once the sugar is dissolved. (You don't want to bring it all to a boil.) To store, you can sterilize a bottle or jar by filling it with boiling water and pouring some over the lid, too. Dump the water out right before you fill with the hot syrup and seal the jar. Let cool before use. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
White Lady
  • Thyme-Infused Cointreau
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle Cointreau
  • 1 cup (40 grams) thyme sprigs, gently bruised
  • White Lady
  • 1 1/2 ounces (45 milliliters) London dry gin
  • 3/4 ounce (22.5 milliliters) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce (15 milliliters) large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) double simple syrup
  • Ice cubes
  • 1 orange peel
  1. Thyme-Infused Cointreau
  2. In a 1-quart (960-milliliter) canning jar, combine the Cointreau and thyme. Let sit, agitating regularly, for 1 week. Strain through a strainer lined with a coffee filter set over a bowl. Bottle the infused Cointreau; it should keep indefinitely.
  1. White Lady
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, lemon juice, egg whtie, simple syrup, and 1 ounce (30 milliliters) of the Thyme-Infused Cointreau. Shake without ice until the egg white is frothy. Add ice and shake again until chilled.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist the orange peel over the drink, discard the peel, and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stephen Hayes
    Stephen Hayes
  • NatWhit
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    Burt Hood

5 Reviews

Stephen H. December 16, 2015
You should call this drink "Three Thymes a Lady" like the Lionel Richie song, ha!
Burt H. April 3, 2015
I want to say The Bar Book is my absolute favorite cocktail book. I received it as a gift and now recommend it to every bartender and cocktail enthusiast I meet.

Also, little typo, it says the "Savory Cocktail Book" up there by accident.
Arbour July 25, 2014
When I pick myself up off of the floor, I'll tell you just how sublime it is....
NatWhit July 17, 2014
This intriguing, but I hesitate to infuse an entire bottle of Cointreau with thyme. What if I infused the simple syrup instead? Do you think the flavor of the cocktail would be altered much?
danette July 19, 2014
That is a great idea. I infused some simple syrup with ginger recently and it's sublime, hanging out in my fridge for making my new favorite cocktail, The Austrian.