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.
According to legend, a bartender at San Francisco’s Occidental Hotel created the Martinez for a local gold miner who struck it rich and demanded a drink in celebration. The bartender acceded, stirring up a variation on a Manhattan with Old Tom gin in place of the usual whiskey and the added twist of maraschino liqueur. An iteration of the cocktai...