Few cocktails will impress your guests more than the Ramos Gin Fizz. The list of ingredients needed to create this century-old drink includes things like orange flower water, heavy cream, and egg white, and the earliest surviving recipes call for 12 minutes of shaking.
With these considerations, the Ramos Gin Fizz’s survival becomes even more interesting. Many other, simpler cocktails like the Sherry Cobbler and the Whiskey Flip faded into obscurity during the decades since Prohibition, but the gin fizz has survived—and thrived.
NEW ORLEANS LEGEND
Much of its survival is likely due to its status as an iconic New Orleans cocktail. According to The Cocktail Chronicles, bartender Henry C. Ramos introduced the drink at his bar, the Imperial Cabinet saloon, in 1888 under the name the New Orleans Fizz. The fizz's popularity didn’t fully take off until after he purchased The Stag bar in 1907, where the drink became popular very quickly.
By 1915, the drink was so popular that Ramos employed a team of young men just to help the bartenders shake the cocktail. As Stanley Clisby Arthur wrote in New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em, “the corps of busy shaker boys behind the bar was one of the sights of the town during Carnival, and in the 1915 Mardi Gras, 35 shaker boys nearly shook their arms off, but were still unable to keep up with the demand.”
As the story goes, Ramos kept the cocktail's recipe a secret up after Prohibition. The resulting drink is a time machine back to the era when anything worth doing required patience.
HIT THE LAB
If you’re planning to order this at a bar, be warned that it may cost more during peak hours—the labor and time involved make it difficult to execute properly.
Ramos Gin Fizz
Adapted from David Wondrich’s Esquire Drinks.
2 ounces of gin
1 ounce of heavy cream
1 egg white
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3 drops (or 1 dash) orange flower water
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously without ice. Add cracked ice and shake vigorously for at least one minute. Strain into a chilled Collins glass and top with club soda.
Silver Raspberry Fizz
Courtesy of Nolet gin
1.25 oz NOLET’S Silver Dry Gin
.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.25 oz Simple Syrup
.5 oz Pasteurized Egg White
Muddle raspberries in a shaker tin and add first four ingredients. Fill with ice, shake and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with soda water. Garnish with a wedge of lemon.