The Pink Lady Cocktail: Silly Name, Serious Drink
It only looks sweet and innocent.
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet."
I keep trying to tell myself that it's always true. But let's face it, sometimes you see a product with a name so horrible that you can't bring yourself to try it.
This week's cocktail is fantastic, one that I love making for people when they're in the mood to try something different. But I always tell them the name after I've served it to them and they tell me they like it.
Oh, that name, the Pink Lady. The name alone cemented it as the girliest of girly drinks, something that even its target audience would be embarrassed to order. Even worse, it's a light pink hue with a frothy top from a dose of egg white.
Yes, egg white, that magic ingredient that adds body and the aforementioned foam to a drink, and puts off everyone but knowledgeable cocktail stalwarts. Because too many people were ordering the drink to begin with, I suppose.
The Pink Lady only looks frilly and demure. It turns out that not only does it have an enjoyably sophisticated flavor profile, it also packs quite the wallop. If you thumb through old cocktail books, you'll find considerable variation in Pink Lady recipes. About the only thing that they all have in common is gin and a splash of grenadine.
Egg white is fairly common (and a worthwhile addition), but then there's some disagreement whether one should add lemon juice or cream, or both. I'm of the firm opinion that lemon juice is the better option; cream pushes the drink into after-dinner territory and doesn't bring all that much to the party.
There's one more little ingredient that is seen here and there, but truly makes the drink: Applejack. That little splash of brandy gives considerable dimension to an otherwise fairly innocuous tipple. And without it, it's just a Clover Club cocktail with grenadine instead of pomegranate syrup. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you.
So while a rose by any other name may smell as sweet, don't judge a book by its cover.
Pink Lady 1/2 ounce lemon juice 1-1/2 ounces gin 1/2 ounce applejack 1 egg white 1/3 ounce grenadine Shake together very vigorously without ice, then add ice, shake, and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.
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