At first glance, the White Dragon appears to be a variation on the classic Margarita, with lemon juice instead of lime and the addition of egg whites. But the drink’s creator, bartending icon Jim Meehan, says, “...it’s actually a variation upon a White Lady (the classic gin-based Daisy from the Savoy Cocktail Book) which is typically made with egg white.”
Meehan, the founder of Please Don’t Tell in New York City and author of the “PDT Cocktail Book” and “Meehan’s Bartender Manual,” named the drink partially after its progenitor and partially after the tequila he originally made it with: Casa Dragones blanco tequila, as he made the cocktail as the brand’s signature Daisy. He also felt that lemon was a better fit than lime, which he found astringent.
The White Dragon provides an opportunity to try egg whites in cocktails, as getting the proper thick head of foam can vex even the most experienced of cocktaim bartenders. There are some guidelines to getting that lovely layer of thick foam, and arguably the most important aspect is high quality, fresh eggs. If you find yourself making a ton of drinks with egg whites, there is the option for store-bought whites, but the quality will never be the same as cracking one from a fresh egg.
Secondly, be sure to break the egg over a container other than the cocktail shaker, so as to not accidentally incorporate any yolks. Once the yolks are safely deposited elsewhere, you can begin to build the drink, which involves giving it a “dry shake,” shaking the entire cocktail with the egg whites and no ice, before adding the ice and shaking again. If that still isn’t leading to the desired consistency, it’s time to try a “reverse dry shake.” Build the drink as normal, with all ingredients and the ice in the shaker, but then strain it, dump the ice, and re-shake the drink again, then finally pour into the desired glass.
With both the dry and the reverse dry shake it’s important to double-strain the drink using a second, hand-held strainer, to make sure there are no errant ice shards floating in the otherwise pristine foam.
- 1 3/4 ounce Casa Dragones blanco tequila
- 3/4 ounce Cointreau
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- Garnish: orange twist
Add all the ingredients to a shaker and shake without ice.
Fill with ice, shake again and strain into a coupe glass. Alternatively, shake with ice first, strain the drink into a new shaker, and shake again without ice before pouring into a coupe glass.
Twist a swath of orange peel over the drink and discard.
RAW EGG WARNING
Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.