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Pink Lady Cocktail

The Pink Lady cocktail proves that you shouldn’t judge a drink by its color. Despite its ‘girly’ hue, this pink drink is a sophisticated sipper that’s more dry than sweet. Try our easy recipe and make the classic cocktail at home in just five minutes.

Pink Lady Cocktail with 3 Cherries

Drinking pink poses challenges for lazy mixologists who like sophisticated sippers. As we learned while researching whimsically colored cocktails, not all pink cocktails are created equal.

Many pink drinks are cloyingly sweet. Others have complicated recipes that require blenders and lots of ingredients. These don’t work for us since we’re not fans of the ‘girly drink’ category of cocktails and we don’t like cleaning up messes.

Discover more colorful cocktails.

Pink Lady Cocktail in front of Lisbon Cathedral
Hallelujah! The Pink Lady is the answer to our St. Valentine’s Day prayers.

We were pleased as punch once we discovered the Pink Lady cocktail. A less acidic version of the Clover Club, the Pink Lady is pleasantly pink, easy to craft and just the right level of sweet.

Be aware that the Pink Lady is as strong as a martini. But, since it’s pink, it’s more fun to drink.

Pink Lady Cocktail History

Pink Lady on Step
We stepped back into time to learn about the Pink Lady’s history. However, there wasn’t a lot to learn.

The Pink Lady will sound familiar to Generation X’ers like us who grew up singing along with the Pink Ladies in Grease. We’d love to say the the drink and movie are related; however, the classic cocktail predates the musical movie by quite a few decades.

Mindi Drinks a Pink Lady Cocktail
Mindi is hopelessly devoted to her Pink Lady cocktail. It’s the one that she wants to drink on Valentine’s Day and all year long.

We’d also love to share a juicy story about how and where the drink was invented but there isn’t one that we can verify. While drink historians trace the Pink Lady back to the early 20th century, there’s no definitive origin story for this particular pre-prohibition cocktail.

After we show you how to craft this pink-hued sour cocktail, it’s up to you to create your own Pink Lady story. Consider it a blank slate. Or, in this case, a pink slate.

Pink Lady Cocktail Ingredients

Pin Lady Cocktail Ingredients
The short ingredient list for a Pink Lady includes gin, grenadine, egg white and maraschino cherries. All that’s missing from this photo is the ice.

The Pink Lady fits our cocktail sweet spot with a short list of ingredients that can be counted on one hand. These are the only required ingredients:

  • Dry Gin
  • Grenadine Syrup
  • Egg White
  • Maraschino Cherry
  • Ice Cubes (for shaking)
Pink Lady Cocktail Ingredients and Bar Tools
The Pink Lady’s gadget list is equally short. It includes a shaker, jigger, strainer, bar spoon and cocktail pick. Not pictured is a measuring spoon for measuring the grenadine.

Beyond its short list of ingredients that you probably already have in your home bar, the Pink Lady has an equally short list of required bar tools. You probably have them too. All you need is a cocktail shaker, jigger and measuring spoon.

Though not required, we recommend using a separate cocktail strainer to facilitate a cleaner pour and a bar spoon to get all of the foam out of the shaker. We also recommend using a silver cocktail pick for a classy touch.

Gin and Grenadine Bottles
Gin and grenadine are the only bottles you need when crafting a Pink Lady cocktail.

Since dry gin is the Pink Lady’s primary ingredient, we recommend using a quality gin in this recipe. We like to use Citadelle dry gin from France to craft our pink drinks. This premium gin has 19 botanicals and comes in a pretty blue bottle.

Discover our favorite gin cocktails.

Monin produces our preferred grenadine. Also from France, Monin doesn’t add any artificial colors or flavors to its bright red pomegranate syrup. It’s the next best thing to using grenadine made from scratch.

Discover our favorite grenadine cocktails.

How To Craft A Pink Lady Cocktail

Pink Lady Cocktail with Cherries
You can be drinking a cocktail like this one in just five minutes.

If you have five minutes then you have enough time to craft a Pink Lady cocktail from scratch. Our recipe is that fast and easy.

The first step is to measure two ounces of gin. We recommend using a cocktail jigger for this step.

Measuring Gin in Jigger
Hooray! We didn’t spill any gin when we measured the distilled liquor into our new jigger.

The second step is to measure a 1/2 teaspoon of grenadine. In this recipe, a little bit of grenadine goes a long way.

Measuring Grenadine
We used a measuring spoon to measure the grenadine for this recipe. You’ll want to do the same.

The third step is to separate an egg white. We’re comfortable with using a raw egg white. You can use a pasteurized egg white instead if you’re concerned about ingesting raw eggs.

Discover more cocktails with egg white to craft at home.

Separating an Egg White

Now comes the fun. It’s time to shake things up two different ways…

First comes a dry shake without ice to combine the ingredients and emulsify the egg white. After adding ice, more shaking ensues.

Mindi Shakes a Pink Lady Cocktail
Crafting a Pink Lady cocktail is fun.

Voila. After shaking two ways, all that’s left is straining the cocktail into a small martini glass and adding a maraschino cherry or three. We like to skewer our cherries on a silver cocktail pick but the pick isn’t mandatory.

Straining a Pink Lady Cocktail
When you strain your Pink Lady cocktail, it’s almost go time.

Last, we splash a bit of maraschino cherry syrup into our Pink Lady cocktail. Even though we’re not into ‘girly’ sweet drinks, the original Pink Lady recipe is a bit flat for our personal tastes and the cherry syrup adds a fruity, acidic zip.

Pink Lady Cocktail Variations

Pink Lady with Cherries
We added three maraschino cherries to this classic Pink Lady cocktail.

The ingredients in our Pink Lady drink recipe honor the original recipe and the one that appeared in the 1937 Cafe Royal Cocktail Book. However, you may want to mix things up by trying one of the following variations:

  • Add Applejack (apple brandy) and lemon juice to craft a ramped up Pink Lady cocktail.
  • Add lemon juice and a lemon twist to craft a Clover Club cocktail.
  • Add sweet cream to craft a Pink Shimmy cocktail.
  • Replace the grenadine with triple sec and add lemon juice to craft a non-pink White Lady cocktail.

Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.

Recipe FAQs

What is a Pink Lady cocktail?

The Pink Lady cocktail is a pink pre-prohibition cocktail crafted with gin, grenadine syrup and an egg white.

What are the ingredients in a Pink Lady?

Dry Gin, Grenadine Syrup, Egg White, Maraschino Cherries (garnish) and Ice (for shaking)

What makes a Pink Lady cocktail pink?

Grenadine syrup adds both color and sweetness to the Pink Lady Cocktail.

What’s the best dry gin to use in a Pink Lady?

You should use your favorite gin in this cocktail recipe. We typically use Citadelle gin but any dry gin will work just fine.

Is it mandatory to add an egg white to a Pink Lady cocktail?

No. You can replace the egg white with pasteurized egg white or aquafaba if you’re concerned about ingesting raw eggs.

Is the Pink Lady shaken or stirred?

The Pink Lady is shaken, not stirred.

What type of glass is best for the Pink Lady?

We like to serve this cocktail in a small martini glass but you could use a coupe glass instead.

Did you craft this cocktail? If so, please rate the recipe below.

Pink Lady Cocktail with Cherries
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5 from 2 votes

Pink Lady Recipe

Think pink when you drink a Pink Lady cocktail. The classic gin sipper is both classic and fun.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 163kcal



  • Combine gin, grenadine and egg white in a shaker.
  • Shake vigorously until ingredients are mixed and egg white emulsifies.
  • Add several ice cubes and shake again until the liquid is chilled.
  • Strain into a small martini glass.
  • Add a maraschino cherry as garnish and splash a bit of cherry syrup into the cocktail.


  • You can use a pasteurized egg white if you’re not comfortable using a fresh egg white.
  • Feel free to add additional maraschino cherries. We sometimes put three on a silver cocktail pick.
  • You can use a coupe glass if you don’t have a small martini glass.

Estimated Nutrition

Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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About The Authors

About The Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on their website 2foodtrippers. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers a unique taste of the world.

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Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft this cocktail.

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Original Publication Date: February 12, 2021

Recipe Rating


Monday 3rd of October 2022

For the Pink Lady cocktail, can vodka be substituted instead of gin?

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Wednesday 19th of October 2022

You can make any changes that you want. However, it won't be an official Pink Lady cocktail with vodka. Perhaps you should call it a Pink Maria cocktail instead. Let us know how it turns out.