Looking to channel a little Old Hollywood glamor and elegance for the Academy Awards this Sunday - all from the no-tuxes-or-gowns-required comfort of your own cozy couch? How about shaking yourself up a batch of this simple yet luscious, 3-ingredient beauty: the White Lady cocktail.
A pale cousin of the blush-colored Pink Lady, the White Lady is a classic sours recipe with a gin base, featuring the tart tang of fresh lemon juice tempered by the orangey bittersweetness of Cointreau.
This refreshing sipper was invented by Harry MacElhone at Ciro's Club in London in 1919, and according to cocktail historian, David Wondrich, was later retooled and perfected in the late 1920s during the bartending legend's subsequent tenure at Harry's New York Bar in Paris.
Sweet, tart, and bright-tasting (think: a shorter, stronger version of gin and lemonade with a subtle orange twist), this lovely lady makes a charming date for Oscar night.
White Lady Cocktail (adapted from Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh)
makes one drink
1 1/2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce Cointreau
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
[Note: some White Lady recipes include an egg white for volume and texture. Add one to the mix for a little extra frothy oomph.]
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
Thirsty for more Oscar-worthy cocktails? Check out some of these cinematic libations from our archives:
- White Russians and the Big Lebowski
- Gibson Cocktails and All About Eve
- The Ramos Gin Fizz and Dead Reckoning
- Dirty Martinis and Sabrina
- Sazeracs and Live and Let Die
What will you be drinking Oscar night?
Nora Maynard is a longtime home mixologist and an occasional instructor at NYC’s Astor Center. She is a contributor to The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food and Drink Industries and is the recipient of the American Egg Board Fellowship in culinary writing at the Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow. She previously covered food and drink in film at The Kitchn in her weekly column, The Celluloid Pantry.
(Images: Nora Maynard)