Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Tequila & Mezcal Cocktails

White Dragon

A brightly lit cocktail coupe holds a vidid yellow cocktail with a white foamy head. The glass stands on a white stone surface, with a jet black background.
Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

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 on a White Lady (the classic gin-based Daisy from the Savoy Cocktail Book) which is typically made with egg white.” In it, tequila takes the place of gin or brandy.

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and “Meehan’s Bartender Manual,” named the drink partially after its progenitor and partially after the tequila he originally made it with: Casa Dragones blanco tequila. Meehan thought the tequila had strong orange notes and wanted to build a drink that would enhance and build on those elements. Doing so, he felt that that lemon juice was a better fit than lime juice, which he found astringent in the cocktail. Despite the specificity of Casa Dragones’ orange qualities, if you have a blanco tequila at home you’d prefer to use, it should work plenty well provided its quality is decent.

While a Margarita often receives a splash of simple syrup or agave syrup for sweetness, in addition to the orange liqueur, the White Dragon sticks to Cointreau alone. With the silkiness of the egg whites and the relatively sweeter citrus fruit, the drink doesn’t need any additional sugar. Finally, rather than a lime wheel for garnish, the orange notes of the White Dragon are enhanced by a twist of orange zest over the drink.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 ounces Casa Dragones blanco tequila

  • 3/4 ounce Cointreau

  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 egg white

  • Garnish: orange twist

Steps

  1. Add the blanco tequila, Cointreau, lemon juice and egg white to a shaker and dry shake (without ice) for at least 15 seconds.

  2. Fill shaker with ice and shake again until well-chilled.

  3. Double-strain into a chilled coupe glass.

  4. 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.