Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Ramos Gin Fizz Cocktail

The Ramos Gin Fizz Cocktail

A cool and refreshing New Orleans classic

New Orleans is famous for its cocktails. And one of the most beloved is the Ramos Gin Fizz.

Home bartenders rarely make it, though. Mostly because they’ve heard you need to shake it for ages to make it “properly.”

Well, no worries. We can offer some shortcuts that get great results.

Your wrists will thank us.


The Ramos Gin Fizz Cocktail

Recipe: The Ramos Gin Fizz Cocktail

The Ramos Gin Fizz, which dates back to the 1880s, was created by Henry C. Ramos at his Imperial Cabinet Saloon in New Orleans. One of the drink’s key ingredients is egg white, which froths when shaken. It also includes cream, which adds silky smoothness.

Legend has it that Ramos employed as many as a dozen “shaker boys” behind the bar to make each drink. Each member of the team would shake the ingredients as hard as he could for a minute or so, then – exhausted – pass the cocktail shaker to the next guy, who would shake until exhausted, and so on down the line. That whole 12-minute (or so) production was needed to make just one drink! It must have been a pretty good show. Not to mention great marketing.

We don’t have an army of shaker boys, so we make this drink using a technique called a “reverse dry shake.” More discussion about this in the Notes.

This drink takes about 5 minutes to prepare and serves one.

Ingredients
  • 2 ounces dry gin (see Notes)
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 ounce heavy cream
  • 1 egg white (any size egg will do, although we fancy large eggs)
  • 2 teaspoons simple syrup (may substitute confectioner’s or powdered sugar)
  • 2 to 3 drops orange flower/blossom water (see Notes)
  • cold seltzer water or club soda to taste (about an ounce)
Procedure
  1. Combine all ingredients (except seltzer water) in a cocktail shaker with 2 or 3 ice cubes. Shake vigorously for one minute. 
  2. Remove what’s left of the ice cubes (they will have melted considerably). Shake without ice for another minute (or two, if you’re feeling particularly energetic). 
  3. Pour the contents of the shaker into a fizz or Collins glass (one that holds 9 to 10 ounces is ideal; see Notes) without straining. Top up the drink with seltzer water until the egg white forms a lip above the rim of the glass. Serve and enjoy.
The Ramos Gin Fizz Cocktail

Notes
  • These days, most bartenders use London-style dry gin for this drink. But it may originally have been made with Old Tom gin, which is somewhat sweeter.
  • In cocktail parlance, a “dry shake” means shaking ingredients without ice. Barkeeps often use this method for drinks that contain egg whites because it helps the whites froth. The usual sequence is to shake for about 15 seconds, add ice, then shake again to chill.
  • The method we describe in Steps 1 and 2 is a “reverse dry shake”: You shake the ingredients with ice cubes first, to chill the drink and dilute it (via the melting cubes). Then remove the ice and shake again to whip the egg whites and cream to a silky, foamy texture (you remove the ice because it can reduce foam creation). A reverse dry shake helps develop this drink’s legendary texture, but it only takes two minutes (three, tops) rather than twelve.
  • Want an even easier method? Just pour the drink ingredients (minus seltzer water) into a blender and add a handful of chipped ice. Blend until frothy. You’ll get a great-looking drink, although the texture won’t be quite as good.
  • So what makes a drink a “fizz”? Well, back in the day, there were many different kinds of mixed drinks: Fizzes, Collinses, cocktails, and others. “Cocktails” originally were quite small (no more than a couple of ounces) and typically were consumed in the morning – often as hair-of-the-dog remedies. Over the years, we’ve come to call all mixed drinks “cocktails.”
  • A fizz typically contains booze, citrus, and sparkling water. It can also include some egg (the white, the yolk, or the whole thing). A fizz generally is served in a tall glass, usually without ice. It’s similar to a Collins; but a Collins is always served with ice and tends to be a more voluminous drink (with quite a bit more sparkling water).
  • Fizzes (like the original “cocktails”) frequently were served as a morning pick-me-ups. 
  • Both fizzes and Collinses are served in tall glasses. But a fizz glass typically holds 7 to 10 ounces, while a Collins glass holds 10 to 14 ounces (you need extra space for ice). FYI, the glass in our pictures is a 9-ounce glass.
  • Oh, and a fizz is never garnished, while a Collins almost always has a garnish. Got all that?
  • Orange flower water (aka orange blossom water) adds a wonderful floral aroma to this drink. You can find orange flower water online, or at many specialty grocers.
  • We prefer to use simple syrup in cocktails. If you want to substitute sugar, go with the confectioner’s variety. It contains cornstarch, which adds smoothness to the texture of the drink. You could also use regular powdered sugar; it’s very fine (like confectioner’s sugar), so it dissolves quickly when you shake the drink.
The Ramos Gin Fizz Cocktail

Fizzion

“A storied drink,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Liquor history in a glass.”

“Just hope our readers make it through the Notes before the gin kicks in,” I said.

“Yeah,” said Mrs K R. “All that drink lore can get a bit confusing.”

“At least Señor Fizz worked out his differences with Mr. Collins,” I said.

“And you’re really blossoming as a bartender,” said Mrs K R.

True. Pulling up my resumé now – need to add “shaker boy.”

You may also enjoy reading about:
Simple Syrup
Sloe Gin Fizz Cocktail
Tom Collins Cocktail
Clover Club Cocktail
Pink Lady Cocktail
White Lady Cocktail
Pisco Sour Cocktail
Gin Daisy Cocktail
Cocktail Basics
Or check out the index for more

63 comments:

  1. This one is new to me but it sounds fantastic! I especially like the fact that I can excuse myself if I decide to have it for breakfast, thanks for that.:)

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    1. Hi Barb, this drink is a great way to get your breakfast eggs. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. John, you are a master of cocktails. I love the froth on top. Never thought of egg white can be used in cocktails and I see it here. This looks refreshingly cool for hot summer days

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    1. Hi Holly, egg white is a fun ingredient! Looks great, and adds some nice mouth feel. Thanks for the comment.

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  3. What a fascinating and beautiful cocktail! Egg white and cream with gin...something totally unexpected, but fun and yummy!

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    1. Hi Angie, this really is an exceptional cocktail. Worth trying. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  4. I want a row of shaker boys at home too! I have been to Nawlins twie and never heard of a Ramos Gin Fizz. And you explain why but it sounds so good! Thank god for blenders now.

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    1. Hi Evelyne, people have actually developed machines to mechanically shake a cocktail shaker -- just to make this drink. Kinda price for home use though. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. It looks and sounds SO DELICIOUS!!!

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  6. Ah with a slight change using powdered swerve this could be a delightful keto compliant drink. Plus I am one of those odd people who always has orange blossom water on hand. You never know when a cookie, cake or now a drink might need it. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Anne, glad you can make this keto compliant! We almost always have orange blossom water on hand, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Ummmm, I love gin, New Orleans and this drink! Interesting with fizzes, garnishes, and glass sizes for cocktails. You covered it all perfectly! Thanks, John!

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    1. Hi Pam, lots to discover about various drinks, isn't there? Makes one thirsty. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. It's like a summer version of an eggnog but lighter and brighter. Love this.

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    1. Hi Bobbi, that's a great way to describe this drink! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. This sounds amazing and I especially like the blender method. That's more my style :)

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    1. Hi Pat and Dahn, it's a wonderful drink! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. This sounds delicious. I've heard the drink's name before, but I guess I had no idea what it is. I'd love to try one. Sounds pretty do-able.

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    1. Hi Jeff, pretty easy to make. And totally drinkable. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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    2. So, we had a "Kitchen Riffs" Labor Day weekend, dotted by the Honolulu Cocktail, and them some of these fizzes. This one was very interesting and refreshing. I kind of wished it were sweeter, but I found that when I sweetened it, it completely lost all of its nuance. In the end, it's best exactly the way you laid it out.

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    3. Oh, and by the way, I should've added that the shaking was crazy (in a fun way). I don't make ice. I buy it, because I think it tastes better than what my freezer makes. Plus, the ice I buy comes in chips. I found that if I used a small handful of chips, they wound up dissolving into the drink after 60 seconds, and didn't have to be strained. The texture of this drink if FABULOUS.

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    4. Isn't this a wonderful drink?!! Glad you enjoyed it. Using chips would be great -- it's ideal if the ice melts and you don't have to strain it out. Thanks for letting me know that you liked this. :-)

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  11. Wow,looks so stylish and pretty ☺

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    1. Hi Natalia, and really, really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. oh wow KR this looks fabulous! what a drink. and once again i love your photos. cheers and knees up mother brown as the old saying goes:-) - sherry

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    1. Hi Sherry, LOL -- I haven't heard that saying (or thought of that song) in years. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. I think you are a great bartender, I love reading about the different drinks. Prost!

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, Prost! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  14. This is the perfect patio sipping drink! Definitely bookmarking this.

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    1. Hi Balvinder, this is a nice patio drink! Good idea. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. Wow, this one just looks delicious, John! Seems like a little bit of work, but I'm sure it's worth every sip! :)

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    1. Hi Marcelle, this definitely more worth than most cocktails. Really worth it, though. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. I've never had one of these. Must try it. And since you've taught us the "reverse dry shake" method, I can do this. Otherwise, I'd be out of luck because shaker boys are pretty scarce on the ground around here!

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    1. Hi Jean, I think shaker boys are pretty scarce everywhere these days. Good thing science discovered the "reverse dry shake." :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. At first glance this looks like a dessert! I really like the sound of the ingredients, and it's totally new to me. Your notes are so helpful for trying it at home. Looks like fun! ~Valentina

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    1. Hi Valentina, it does look like a dessert, but definitely not. Now, a Brandy (or Gin) Alexander -- THAT could be dessert! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Doesn't everyone need a dozen shaker boys behind the bar? :) What a great story. I've never had a Ramos gin fizz, but it is definitely one of those drinks that I would love to try at least once. It looks rich for very tasty. Thanks John!

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    1. Hi MJ, cocktail history is fun! As is this drink. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchenAugust 8, 2019 at 9:22 PM

    This sounds like such a fun drink! I've never heard of the reverse dry shake before so I appreciate the education. Very interesting!

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    1. Hi Kelsie, we love obscure facts/techniques like that! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Probably Mark’s favorite fancy cocktail! We tried them once at home and they were a dismal failure. I will use your recipe (and am grateful for the “reverse” dry shake) report back.

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    1. Hi David, hope you and Mark like the "reverse dry shake" method -- it's fun, and works. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. Sure is a pretty drink! I would have loved the theater of the original making of the drink.

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    1. Hi Laura, I'd have loved to see these made back in the day, too. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. I think I had a version of this drink with some friends in a Miami hotel room. It wasn't nearly as pretty and I have a feeling it wasn't shaken long enough! We need to know about your reverse dry shake technique :)

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    1. Hi Liz, although this drink doesn't need to be shaken for the legendary 12 minutes, it DOES require a much longer than normal shake in order to develop the ideal texture and frothiness. It's a wonderful drink -- you should try making it again. And that reverse dry shake really works! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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    1. Hi Chocoviv, yup. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. Now that definitely looks like a tall drink of deliciousness. But anything with heavy cream in it has got to be extra good! ;)

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    1. Hi Carolyn, cream is so good in drink! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. That's a killer cocktail for sure! I suck at making cocktails and saving this recipe to try soon.

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    1. Hi Kankana, this is definitely a drink worth making. SO good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. Replies
    1. Hi R, it really is good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. That looks stunning! And I always enjoy reading the history behind the drinks you share here although I am a teetotaler ��

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    1. Hi Taruna, we got interested in cocktails because of some of the great stories behind them. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  28. Oh JOhn, another cocktail with gin? Egg white and cream...it is a dessert...thanks for this awesome recipe. Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Hi Juliana, more breakfast smoothie than dessert. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. It's 106 outside, and I need one of these in my hands right now! What a great adult milk shake. And, I love the simplified dry shake technique.

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    1. Hi Lisa, yes, you DO need one of these. :-) This is really very refreshing. Thanks for the comment.

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  30. You are the master of fancy cocktails, this is another winner!

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    1. Hi Emma, isn't this a great drink? Looks and tastes wonderful! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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