This simple, stylish, sour gin cocktail was invented by two different Harrys. First Harry McElhone made a White Lady with white crème de menthe, triple sec and lemon juice at the Ciro Club in London in 1919. And then, Harry Craddock of The American Bar in London published a recipe for a White Lady in The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930, replacing the crème de menthe with gin. Regardless of which Harry gets the credit, Craddock’s version is the one we prefer. The name alludes to the mythical “white lady,” a completely white spectral figure whose appearance foretells death. But pay her no mind—look death in the face and sip this classic with conviction.
To hear the Sazerac Company tell it, in 1838 a New Orleans apothecary by the name of Antoine Peychaud invented this brandy-based drink that would eventually bear the company’s name. However, according to the inestimable David Wondrich, the whiskey-based version we know and love today was created out of necessity, when a severe Cognac shortage in...