Though I love a good Bloody Mary, I tend to think of it as a liquid appetiser, best consumed before eggs. The White Lady, however, is a cocktail that I could drink with breakfast. It’s light, bright, citrusy, and sour — all things you want with a rich and heavy brunch. You can make it with an egg white, but I usually don’t, simply because it adds an extra step and I’m rarely interested in doing more than the bare minimum (at least when making drinks for myself).
Luckily, this is a drink that shines without much fussing. Gin, citrus, and some sort of orange liqueur are all you need, but my favourite iteration of the gin drink is this David Lebovitz recipe, which uses dry curaçao from Pierre Ferrand. The PF curaçao is made from bitter, green-skinned oranges — rather than the usual sweet and/or sour — which is what keeps it nice and “dry.”
The only change I ever make to David’s recipe is the lemon juice — if Meyer lemons are available, I’ll choose one of those over a conventional yellow lemon every time. When combined with curaçao, the Meyer lemon’s sweeter, more floral flavour gives the drink a cheery orangesicle quality that I love. (An egg white will only enhance this quality, click here if you wish to pursue this course of action.)
To make this slightly bracing, refreshing classic cocktail, you will need:
- 60mL of gin
- 30mL fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 30mL Pierre Ferrand dry curaçao
Put everything into a shaker filled with ice (or one big cube) and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a strip of zest if you like. I’ve found it’s not necessary — the Meyer lemon juice has such a heady, botanical fragrance, I don’t usually miss the garnish.