Next in our Around the World in 50 Classic Cocktails series, the beloved – and notoriously laborious – Ramos Gin Fizz.
Feel like treating yourself to a truly exceptional classic cocktail? You’d be hard-pressed to do better than the Ramos Gin Fizz (though speaking of hard, you may want to do some press-ups: this is one cocktail that calls for almost superhuman levels of arm-strength, as it is at its best when shaken for no fewer than five minutes). But any muscle soreness is more than worth it: one part fizzy refreshment, one part milkshake, it’s a wickedly drinkable concoction.
As many of the very best cocktails do, the Ramos Gin Fizz originally hails from New Orleans. The legend goes that it was dreamed up by one Henry “Carl” Ramos, who created it in the late 1880s. It quickly became the toast of the town. The drink was reputed for its richness of flavour and silky body, as well as its lengthy preparation time. To ease the strain of all that shaking, Ramos even hired a large team of bar staffers whose only jobs were to continuously shake the fizzes, passing along the shakers whenever they grew tired. Other stories – possibly apocryphal – say that bar patrons even assisted in the shaking of their cocktails.
Best when shaken for no fewer than five minutes, this cocktail calls for almost superhuman levels of arm-strength.
Why all the hard work? This cocktail, with its cream and egg white, needs agitation to properly emulsify; its desired texture is silky smooth and lighter than air, which takes a good amount of time and strength to achieve.
And while it came about as an adaptation on the classic Gin Fizz, it’s important not to confuse these two classics. The original Gin Fizz is very close in origin to a Tom Collins: a simple mix of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and fizzy water, it’s served long and is always refreshing. The Ramos Gin Fizz, on the other hand, has more to it, including both lemon and lime juice, single cream, an egg white, and even a few dashes of fragrant orange blossom water.
The resulting serve is utterly decadent. We’d just advise you to exert a bit of caution when ordering this serve at a cocktail bar, as you may not win the favour of already busy bartenders. But think of it this way: it’s all the more reason to shake one up yourself.
The Ramos Gin Fizz
Adapted from Punch
60 ml Sipsmith London Dry Gin
15 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
15 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
15 ml simple syrup
3 dashes orange blossom water
30 ml single cream
1 egg white
60 ml fizzy water
Add first seven ingredients to an empty cocktail shaker and dry shake for a minute, or until well emulsified. Add ice. Shake until well chilled, for as long as you can stand (up to 4 or 5 minutes). Strain into a Collins glass and top up with fizzy water. Garnish with a wheel of lemon, lime, or orange.