My Fair Lady Cocktail: An elegant 1950s rags to riches toast
Tying in nicely with my literary-cinematic cocktail theme, the My Fair Lady cocktail was invented back in the 1950’s in London’s Savoy Hotel. It is no coincidence that it’s creation coincided with a production of Lerner and Loewe’s classic musical of the same name, based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion.
In the story, a cockney flower girl is taken off the street and taught how to be a lady. Unfortunately, the journey that she is taken on leaves her out of place just about everywhere. For my money, Pygmalion and My Fair Lady are a more accurate telling of the classic Cinderella story.
This cocktail requires a bit more effort to make than some of the other cocktails here on my website. Along with the gin (I chose Whitby Gin Demeter edition because of its fruity undertones) and strawberry liqueur, you will also need fresh orange and lemon juices as well as a fresh egg white. An interesting chemical reaction can occur when you mix an acid with raw protein. When left alone for a while, the acid essentially “cooks” the egg white. This can lead to unsightly trails of egg white in your My Fair Lady cocktail, which is far from desirable.
Once you have got all your ingredients in your shaker, egg white last, you need to give the cocktail a rigorous shake before adding the ice. This is know a dry shake. A dry shake is needed to fully emulsify the ingredients. I tried to skip this step a few times when I was far too eager to start sipping my cocktail but regretted it because the egg white didn’t full mix in.
That being said, if you make the My Fair Lady cocktail correctly, you will end up with a lovely creamy froth on top of a beautifully creamy pink cocktail. Time to raise a glass to elegance.
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MY FAIR LADY COCKTAIL RECIPE
1½ measures gin
½ measure fresh orange juice
½ measure fresh lemon juice
¼ measure strawberry liqueur
1 egg white
Pour ingredients into an cocktail shaker and shake it vigorously for at least 90 seconds. Add plenty of ice and shake vigorously again to chill the cocktail. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.