White Cargo


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Written By cocktailflavors.com
White Cargo_001

Introduction to the White Cargo Cocktail

The White Cargo is a luxurious blend of creamy vanilla and the botanical kick of gin. This frozen dessert cocktail is a nod to the opulence of the 1920s. Its simplicity belies a rich and indulgent experience that’s perfect for a sophisticated end to a meal or a decadent treat on a warm evening.

With its smooth texture and balanced flavors, the White Cargo is a delightful surprise for those unacquainted with gin-based dessert drinks. Let’s dive into the world of this creamy concoction and discover what makes it a timeless classic.

Whether you’re a gin aficionado or a lover of all things ice cream, the White Cargo is sure to please. Its versatility makes it an excellent choice for various occasions, from dinner parties to a quiet night in.

Key Facts About the White Cargo

Alcohol Content: Approximately 14% ABV

Calories: Approximately 250 kcal

Preferred Glass: Chilled Wine Goblet or Coupe Glass

Typical Garnish: Mint Sprig or Nutmeg Dusting

Interesting Facts about the White Cargo

  • The White Cargo was a popular choice during the jazz age, embodying the spirit of the roaring twenties.
  • Its name is thought to be a playful nod to the luxurious and exotic ingredients used in its creation.
  • Despite its creamy nature, the cocktail maintains a lightness thanks to the addition of lemon juice and egg white.

White Cargo Cocktail

Tasting Notes for the White Cargo

The White Cargo offers a creamy texture with a subtle juniper punch from the gin. The vanilla ice cream provides a sweet base, while the lemon juice adds a refreshing zesty note. The optional egg white contributes to a frothy and smooth finish.

This cocktail is ideal for those who enjoy a dessert-like drink with a hint of sophistication. It’s perfect for celebrations or as a novel choice for a summer gathering. The White Cargo is a versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed in a variety of settings.

Given its rich flavor profile, the White Cargo is best suited for after-dinner enjoyment. It pairs well with a relaxed atmosphere and good company, making it a favorite for intimate gatherings or a treat after a long day.

History of the White Cargo

The White Cargo hails from an era of experimentation and indulgence. Originating in the 1920s, it quickly became a symbol of luxury and decadence. The cocktail’s creation is attributed to the ingenuity of bartenders who sought to blend the popular flavors of gin with the emerging trend of ice cream desserts.

During Prohibition in the United States, the White Cargo was a way to mask the harsh taste of bootlegged spirits. The addition of vanilla ice cream and lemon juice helped to soften the bite of inferior gin, making it more palatable.

As Prohibition ended and the quality of spirits improved, the White Cargo evolved into a refined cocktail. It retained its popularity well into the mid-20th century before experiencing a resurgence in modern cocktail culture.

White Cargo Ingredients

  • Gin (2 oz or 60 ml): Provides the botanical backbone of the cocktail, offering a complex flavor profile that complements the sweetness of the ice cream.
  • Vanilla Ice Cream (1 scoop or approximately 2 oz or 60 ml): Adds a rich, creamy texture and sweet vanilla notes, balancing the gin’s sharpness.
  • Lemon Juice (1/2 oz or 15 ml): Introduces a bright, citrusy element that cuts through the creaminess and refreshes the palate.
  • Egg White (optional): Contributes to the frothy mouthfeel and smoothness of the cocktail, enhancing its luxurious character.

Did you know? The White Cargo is a testament to the creativity of the Prohibition era, transforming simple ingredients into a sumptuous cocktail experience.

Ingredients for White Cargo Cocktail

White Cargo Method

Blending the Ingredients

Start by combining the gin, vanilla ice cream, lemon juice, and egg white (if using) in a blender. Ensure that the ingredients are fresh, particularly the ice cream, to achieve the best flavor and texture.

Achieving the Perfect Consistency

Blend the mixture until it reaches a smooth consistency. The goal is to create a frothy and homogenous blend without any ice cream lumps.

Serving the Cocktail

Once blended to perfection, pour the White Cargo into a chilled wine goblet or coupe glass. The choice of glass is important as it enhances the drinking experience and presentation.

Serving Suggestion for the White Cargo

The ideal serving vessel for the White Cargo is a wine goblet or coupe glass. These glasses provide ample space for the frothy top and showcase the cocktail’s creamy texture.

For garnishes, consider a mint sprig for a fresh aroma or a dusting of nutmeg for a warming spice note. Both options complement the cocktail’s flavor profile and add visual appeal.

Elevating the White Cargo

  • Use Premium Gin: Select a high-quality gin with a flavor profile that complements vanilla and citrus.
  • Homemade Ice Cream: Consider making your own vanilla ice cream for an even richer taste and smoother texture.
  • Experiment with Garnishes: Try edible flowers or a twist of lemon peel for a unique twist on the traditional garnish.

Elevated White Cargo Cocktail

Substitutions and Alternatives for the White Cargo

If gin isn’t your spirit of choice, consider substituting it with vodka for a milder botanical flavor. For a non-alcoholic version, use a gin alternative or a splash of juniper syrup.

Similar cocktails include the Brandy Alexander and the Frozen Grasshopper, both of which share the creamy, dessert-like qualities of the White Cargo.

Add a Twist to the White Cargo

For a modern take, infuse the gin with herbs like rosemary or basil before blending. Alternatively, add a shot of espresso for a caffeinated kick or a drizzle of caramel for extra sweetness.

Another idea is to incorporate seasonal fruits like strawberries or peaches for a fruity variation. These additions can create a whole new flavor dimension to the classic White Cargo.

Preferred Liquors for the White Cargo

When crafting the White Cargo, opt for a gin that has a balanced botanical profile, such as Tanqueray or Hendrick’s. These brands offer a smoothness that pairs well with the creamy elements of the cocktail.

For an even more luxurious experience, consider using a premium, small-batch gin to elevate the drink’s overall quality and flavor complexity.

Similar Cocktails to the White Cargo

If you enjoy the White Cargo, you might also like the Golden Cadillac or the Piña Colada. Both cocktails offer a creamy texture and a balance of sweet and spirit-forward flavors.

The Alexander is another classic that features a similar profile, substituting gin with cognac or brandy. It’s a great alternative for those who prefer darker spirits.

Food Pairings to Go with the White Cargo

The White Cargo pairs beautifully with light pastries or fruit tarts, complementing the sweetness without overpowering the palate. For a savory contrast, try it with a cheese platter featuring mild, creamy cheeses.

For a more adventurous pairing, consider spicy nuts or a charcuterie board. The cocktail’s creaminess can balance the heat and saltiness of these snacks.

White Cargo FAQs

Can I make the White Cargo without alcohol? Yes, use a non-alcoholic gin alternative or juniper syrup to mimic the gin’s flavor.

Is the egg white necessary? No, it’s optional but adds frothiness. If you’re concerned about raw eggs, use pasteurized egg whites or an egg substitute.

Can I use flavored ice cream? Vanilla is traditional, but feel free to experiment with other flavors that complement gin, like lemon or honey.

How can I make the White Cargo dairy-free? Use a dairy-free vanilla ice cream alternative made from almond, coconut, or soy milk.

What’s the best way to garnish the White Cargo? A mint sprig or nutmeg dusting is classic, but you can also try citrus peels, edible flowers, or a cinnamon stick.

White Cargo_001

White Cargo

A decadent, frozen dessert cocktail featuring gin and vanilla ice cream, the White Cargo is a delightful throwback to the 1920s. It's a simple yet indulgent drink that's perfect for those who enjoy a creamy texture and a hint of juniper from the gin.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 250 kcal


  • Blender
  • Chilled Wine Goblet/Coupe Glass


  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream approximately 2 oz or 60 ml
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 egg white optional for frothiness


  • Combine the gin, vanilla ice cream, lemon juice, and egg white (if using) in a blender.
  • Blend until smooth, making sure the mixture is thoroughly combined and frothy.
  • Pour into a chilled wine goblet or coupe glass.
  • Serve immediately.


The egg white is optional but adds a nice frothiness to the cocktail. Always use fresh ice cream for the best flavor and texture. If desired, garnish with a small sprig of mint or a dusting of nutmeg.
Keyword creamy cocktail, dessert cocktail, frozen cocktail, Gin, Vanilla Ice Cream, Vintage Drinks, White Cargo

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