Pink Lady Cocktail

Pink Lady Cocktail in a glass, garnished with a cherry

The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
245 Calories
5g Fat
14g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 245
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 186mg 62%
Sodium 79mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 30mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 91mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The pink lady is a classic cocktail with a light blush of color that's not as sweet as modern pink martinis. This was one of the first "girly drinks" and a favorite among high-society ladies from the 1930s through the 1950s. It has an inviting flavor that any fan of fine cocktails—including the very similar Clover Club—will enjoy. Although there is no verifiable origin to this drink, it's said to be a concoction created during the Prohibition era, when bad-quality gin was common, and other flavors were needed to mask the unpleasantness of cheap liquor.

The pink lady has a much drier, gently tart flavor than one might expect from its name. Unlike many of today's pink cocktails, it gets a slight fruity sweetness from the grenadine, but the botanicals of a good gin still shine and provide a nice balance of flavor. Not commonly present in household bars, applejack gives the drink a fruit-forward depth. This drink's soft profile will mix well with almost any gin and each will create an entirely new experience.

The egg white in this drink makes a foamy top on the pink liquid and creates a spectacular looking cocktail. But like in any egg cocktail, shake it longer than you would most drinks to ensure that everything is mixed well. Use pasteurized eggs, and give the egg a quick freshness test: Fill a tall glass with cold water, add the egg, and if it sinks to the bottom and turns to the side, it's very fresh. Floating eggs should be discarded. However, if you prefer, skip the egg without greatly impacting the flavor of the drink.

"The pink lady is a wonderful classic cocktail. Don't let the egg white deter you; it's just for a nice frothy texture, which greatly enhances the drink. Just be sure to shake super hard! Applejack may be one ingredient you need to pick up, but it's a worthy addition to your bar!" —Tom Macy

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Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Pink Lady Cocktail ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes, pour the gin, applejack, lemon juice, and grenadine, and measure out 1/4 to 1/2 ounce of the egg white.

    Ice cubes, pour the gin, applejack, lemon juice, and grenadine poured into a cocktail shaker

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  3. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds.

    Shake the cocktail shaker

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

    Pink Lady Cocktail strained into a glass

    The Spruce Eats / Madhumita Sathishkumar

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.

Tips

  • The pink lady is the ideal cocktail for a little gin experimentation. It can work well with the traditional London dry gins like Beefeater and Tanqueray and is equally delightful with any of the lighter gins, such as Hendrick's, Aviation, or any other new gin you come across.
  • To really ensure the egg is mixed into the drink, dry shake it first. Before adding ice, give all the ingredients a good 30-second shake. Fill the shaker with ice, then shake again for 30 seconds, or until your arms get tired.

What Is Applejack?

Applejack is an old-fashioned apple brandy. A product of the oldest distillery in the United States, this brandy is made through the process of jacking, thus the name. By freezing fermented cider and then periodically removing the frozen parts, the alcohol concentration keeps increasing in the remaining liquid.

Applejack is very popular to use in classic cocktails like the pink lady, and it's worth the effort to seek the classic Laird & Company brand, although other apple brandies make a good substitute.

How Strong Is the Pink Lady?

The pink lady may be a pretty little cocktail, but she does pack a punch. Yet, it's really no different than the average classic martini-style cocktail, which is often made primarily of liquor. Assuming you opt to include the egg white, you can expect this cocktail to weigh in around 25 percent ABV (50 proof).