In Your Glass: The White Lady

Anders Erickson got his start behind the bar at the short-lived but much-loved T. Ashwell’s restaurant (now Wickman House) in Ellison Bay. That stint sent him on a course to become a true mixologist in Chicago — first at Andersonville’s In Fine Spirits, and later at Ward 8 in Evanston. 

Anders Erickson mixes up The White Lady. Photo by Azusa Inaba.

When COVID-19 forced Ward 8 to close, Erickson found a new bar to work from — in his living room. Erickson and his girlfriend, Azusa Inaba, launched a YouTube channel and produced weekly videos to make classic cocktails accessible to the home bartender.

One year later, that channel has a devoted, thirsty following of 10,000 subscribers. The couple is now hunting for houses on the peninsula and hoping to return to where the 1998 Gibraltar graduate got his start. He took a break from the channel and his house hunt to share a favorite summer recipe, The White Lady, which was invented in Paris in 1929.

“This is a refreshing cocktail you can enjoy all year,” Erickson said, “but I love it for warm summer days.” 

Dry gin is balanced with bright lemon and the subtle sweetness of orange. Use a quality triple sec such as Luxardo Triplum or Cointreau. 

“Early recipes didn’t include the egg white, but I highly recommend trying it,” Erickson said. “The texture of the airy foam is like sipping on a cloud. But be warned: Three of these, and your head will be in one!”

1-1/2 oz dry gin
3/4 oz triple sec
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
1 small egg white*

Combine all ingredients in a shaking tin. Cover and shake hard without ice for 10 seconds. (This is called “dry shaking,” and it helps to emulsify the egg white and create a foamy texture.) Add ice to the shaking tin, cover, and shake for another 10 seconds. Strain the cocktail into a stemmed, chilled cocktail glass. Enjoy!

*Always use clean, good-quality eggs.