30/30, #1: White Lily

We’ve come across them before: the Blood & Sand, the Last Word, the Cameron’s Kick — drinks that look like a train wreck on paper, but in the glass, have a lot more character than you’d think.

The White Lily isn’t quite in the same class as these three cocktails, but for something that looks nigh-untouchable in print (at least to me), it actually ain’t too bad.

The recipes comes from that old standard, The Savoy Cocktail Book, and hits a couple of unpredictable points for me: first, it successfully combines equal parts rum and gin, which is quite a challenge; second, it matches rum and absinthe, another infrequent pairing.

I first tried the White Lily last month, at the Green Hour event hosted by the Wormwood Society. Gwydion had listed it as a drink he’d like to serve, so I mixed one for myself, just to see what we’d be in for. It’s actually a fairly nice drink; the base spirits are the only drying agents, so the Cointreau places the drink on the sweet side (but not excessively so), and the absinthe serves its seasoning-ingredient role well. This is a case like the Corpse Reviver #2 in which you only want to use the merest dab of absinthe — too much and it easily takes over — but a few drops or a judicious dash and it helps tie everything together. For this version, I used Brugal white rum and Martin Miller’s Gin, which has recently supplanted Bombay as one of my default mixing gins.

White Lily

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce white rum
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 dash absinthe

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with cracked ice. Stir well and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange twist.

This drink is part of 30/30, a series of 30 drinks in 30 days — or as much as I can keep up before collapsing in a weary, booze-addled heap.

5 Responses to 30/30, #1: White Lily

  1. Paul,
    I´m having a White lily right now.
    It impressed me actually, I mixed it expecting nothing good, but it proved me wrong.
    I have to admit that I added a dash of orange bitter to mine after the first sip (just for the heck of it), but the drink is nice even without it. i might reduce the cointreal a lill bit on the next one.

    This is rum and gin 1:1 and it works…

    Thanks again!



  2. Not too bad, surprisingly. One of the very few drinks where the Cointreau is front-and-center, and it comes across with style. Boozy as hell, though.

  3. hi,
    i live in Japan and finding bars that stock the alcohol and liquors you use is hard to find.
    This is one I could tell the bartender to make without any problems.

    The drink was good but I think the bar could have used better absinthe. The smell and flavor of the absinthe was weak compared to the strong flavors of the gin/white rum/cointreau.

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