White Lady (also known as a Delilah, or Chelsea Side-car) is essentially a sidecar made with gin in place of brandy. What makes it different from the simple gin sour is the switching of sugar for triple sec. The cocktail sometimes also includes additional ingredients, for example egg white, sugar, or cream.
It is disputed who originally invented the drink. There are at least two different opinions: first that it was devised by Harry MacElhone in 1919 at Ciro’s Club in London. He originally used crème de menthe, but replaced it with gin at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in 1929.
But The Savoy’s Harry Craddock also claims the White Lady (gin, Cointreau, fresh lemon juice). The recipe appears in his Savoy Cocktail Book, published in 1930. Joe Gilmore, former Head Barman at The Savoy, says this was one of Laurel and Hardy‘s favorite drinks.
In John le Carré‘s 1965 novel The Looking Glass War, British spy and main protagonist Fred Leiser’s favorite drink is a White Lady, and he makes several attempts to get other agents to try the cocktail.
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40 ml | 1 1/3 oz | 4 parts | 8/9 jiggers
30 ml | 1 oz | 3 parts | 2/3 jiggers
20 ml | 2/3 oz | 2 parts | 4/9 jiggers
Add all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into large cocktail glass.
A variant of the Sidecar.
Mix: Triple Sec; Lemon Juice
Garnish: Lemon Wedge (optional)
Drinkware: Cocktail glass
Served: Straight up; without ice