Classic Cocktail The Ramos Gin Fizz
The year is 1888 in the Vibrant Southern town of New Orleans in a place called the Imperial Cabinet Saloon. Henry Ramos began mixing one of the city’s many iconic drinks originally called the New Orleans Fizz.
Now the Gin Fizz had been around for a while and today is frequently confused with the Tom Collins tell that story another time). But Ramos upped the ante with his creation so much so that its production time was anywhere from 12 to 15 minutes done right and employed up to 32 shaker boys to make happen. Even then the team had a hard time keep up with the demand for this creamy glass of heaven.
Growing up in the South myself, I’d heard of this drink but never had one while I was there. When I got serious about serious drinks (this being a seriously serious drink), I began to dig around on the recipe. And like so many recipes, there were variation after variation and trying to distinguish the ‘original” was a fun challenge. I am not claiming to have the original but I will say that the most controversial parts of the recipe I do have an opinion on.
Ramos Gin Fizz
- 1 1/2 oz Gin (Old Tom if you can)
- 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- 1 oz heavy cream
- 5 drops vanilla
- 7 drops orange flower water
- Soda water
Combine all ingredients except orange water and soda in a shaker without ice and shake until your arms are about to fall off. Pass to the next person and have them do the same thing Traditionally this drink shaken dry for twelve minutes. Afterwards add ice and shake again! to chill. Strain into a Collins glass with out ice top with soda,give it a little stir and op with orange flower water.
Now the controversy:
- Old Tom Gin was the gin in use in 1888. London Dry style was coming around but wasn’t the standard call as it is today. Old Tom is available in available in some markets, but those who are stuck without can use another style but it just doesn’t work the same
- No bar these days has time to do the original shake time on this drink. And if they did the drink’s cost would be astronomical. The solution, do the best you can with the staff you have (we make a game of it at Secreto Lounge), or use an emulsion blender either hand-held or counter top.
- Vanilla… Some recipes omit other say it is an option. I say it is an integral part of the drink adding the depth and dimension. It is the music of this drink!
- Orange Flower Water: if you don’t have it, don’t try to make this drink. PERIOD! There is no substituting here. Not Curacao, not triple Sec, not even orange juice. Just don’t
When is the best time to enjoy a Ramos? Brunch or for a hangover is most common, I think the Ramos is good anytime of the day.