One of the best examples I have ever seen of how new cocktails are created occurred when my elder daughter returned home after an appendectomy. I set out to mix a White Lady for the good doctor and myself as a fitting celebration of the child’s recovery. Unfortunately, however, upon strict search I found myself entirely destitute of Cointreau. I did, nevertheless, have a full bottle of R.O.C. curacao, and this, I decided, would answer in place of the Cointreau. Since the curacao is orange-coloured, I also decided to use a whole egg instead of egg white. And thus was born the 


1 part Curacao 

2 parts Lemon Juice 

8 parts Gin

1 Whole Egg to each 4 drinks 

Follow directions for mixing Montreal Gin Sour but add the gin to the other ingredients in 5 or 4 instalments instead of 2.

This is actually quite a good example of how drinks are invented, you start trying to do something else, run out of something or just try to improvise for speed and a whole new drinks is invented. A very similar thing happened to me a long time ago, we were working on a busy night, made a round of shots for someone and there wasn’t quite enough to fill up all the glasses to the top so I improvised and invented a new drink which is still be served in several different bars in different countries 18 years later.

Embury’s variant is typical of him, the dfference between cointreau and curacao is so minimal as to be undistinguishable most of the time (see curacao 13-03), although the whole egg does make a lot more difference. This year I’m learning that egg yolk is a great ingredient (chocolate 16-02 and morning star 24-05) but it doesn’t marry so well with the gin and the citrus in this drink and it ends up with a lot less ‘creaminess’ than you’d expect. He should’ve just made a white lady with curacao, this would probably be indistinguishable from a normal white lady, which is a far better drink that this one.