The White Lady Blushes Pink – A Rosy Delilah Cocktail

“A White Lady occupies its glass like a phantom, glimmering faintly, barely seeming to touch the edge, as if in defiance of gravity. Once sipped, the apparition becomes a stingray…. each shivery mouthful delivering a lethal lemony nip.”

Victoria Moore, How To Drink

This cocktail is another splendid result of my experiments with Victoria’s rhubarb gin and Solerno blood orange liqueur.

The classic White Lady cocktail

In its original form, the classic White Lady cocktail, is a very sexy cocktail: the orange liqueur gives it a silky, slightly oily, texture, but in this new Saucy Dressings’ version, it’s the raspberry that caps it. Save it for last, and enjoy the sensation of breaking open the druplets with your tongue….

If you want to make a straight White Lady (ie ordinary gin) you could replace Rosy Delilah’s raspberry with a twist of lemon – rather splendid – as Victoria Moore describes at the top of this post. A White Lady cocktail is made of two parts gin, 1 part each of orange liqueur and fresh lemon juice, and, optionally, a dash of sugar syrup and a whipped egg white. The garnish is a couple of twists of lemon zest.

Why have I called this cocktail a Rosy Delilah?

Why have I called this creation a rosy Delilah? I discovered the orange liqueur-spirit-lemon juice (or lime) combo when researching my post on the Sidecar cocktail. The classic Sidecar is made with the base spirit being brandy (I use Armagnac). The famous Marguerita is a Sidecar which uses tequila. When the base spirit is gin the drink is known as a White Lady, a Chelsea Sidecar, or a Delilah.

I plumped for naming the Saucy Dressings’ gin-based orange liqueur and lemon juice, as a Delilah (rather than a Chelsea Sidecar, or a White Lady) for three reasons:

• It gave me an excuse to touch on the steamy story of Delilah’s betrayal
• It gave me an excuse to include the gorgeous image of the famous painting of said Delilah by Gustave Moreau
• It gave me an excuse to include Tom Jones’ shamelessly melodramatic ballad about another Delilah who betrays, and pays for it, in a different way – see the bottom of this post.

Naturally enough, it’s a Rosy Delilah because it’s using pink-hued rhubarb gin.

rhubarb cocktail recipe
Delilah by Gustave Moreau

The steamy story of Delilah – very brief digression

Delilah is a biblical anti-heroine who was tasked by the Philistines to find out the source of the strength of her lover, Samson, and to deprive him of it. Seducing him, she draws out the fact that it’s Samson’s hair that makes him strong. She lulls him to sleep (I wonder how?), and then gets a servant to come and cut off his luxuriant locks.

Rhubarb gins to try:

  • Warner Edwards Victoria’s rhubarb gin – the one I used -it uses real rhubarb rather than flavouring – something to check
  • Malfy Gin Rosa which uses Italian rhubarb and Sicilian pink grapefruit
  • Slingsby Rhubarb Gin from Harrogate, in the heart of the Yorkshire rhubarb-growing hub
  • Whitley Neil Rhubarb & Ginger gin

Recipe for the pink Delilah cocktail

Serves one


  • 2 tbsps rhubarb gin….or any gin, enjoy experimenting
  • 1 tbsp Solerno blood orange liqueur – or Cointreau, or Grand Marnier… but I prefer the Solerno as it’s a bit less sweet, and a bit more complex
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice – ideally fresh
  • 1 raspberry


  1. Pour into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Shake for about ten seconds – listen to Tom Jones as you do this.
  3. Strain and serve into chilled glasses.
rhubarb gin cocktail recipe
Drop in a raspberry to make a splash.

“Everything looked better, however, after I’d swallowed two White Ladies taken from a tray that was carried about by a white-gloved butler.”

Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time Of Gifts

Music to shake to

Tom Jones sings Delilah

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