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Pink Lady Cocktail

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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.

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.

Pink Lady Cocktail with 3 Cherries

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.

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.

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 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.

Daryl Drinks a Pink Lady Cocktail
Daryl almost created a funny Pink Lady story but then he remembered to remove his mask.

After we show you how to craft this 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
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.

Discover 10 necessary bar tools for lazy mixologists.

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. Pre-dating the Pink Lady by more than a century, this premium gin with 19 botanicals comes in a pretty blue bottle.

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.

Click here to buy a bottle of Monin grenadine syrup from Amazon.

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.

How to Make 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.

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

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

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

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

Separating an Egg White

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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 Recipe

Don’t just think pink. After you follow our Pink Lady cocktail recipe you can drink pink too.

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 with Cherries

Pink Lady Cocktail

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Think pink when you drink a Pink Lady cocktail. The classic gin sipper is both classic and fun.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Grenadine
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • ice cubes

Instructions

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

Notes

  • 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.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 163Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 57mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g

Nutrition Disclosure: We used an online calculator to calculate this information. Though 2foodtrippers.com has attempted to secure accurate data, these nutritional figures are estimates.

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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 the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

Disclosure

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.

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