Today’s drink might not be one the most complex drinks in the cocktail universe, but mixing it up is definitely an undertaking. The Ramos Gin Fizz is a citrusy, creamy treat that, when made correctly, can serve as anything from a breakfast drink to an after-dinner dessert. It’s an ornate version of a simple egg-based fizz, resembling an orange Julius or a sherbert milkshake.
Unlike many cocktails, this drinks origins can be traced back to a specific bartender — Henry R. Ramos, a bartender in New Orleans who first invented the drink in 1888. The original version of the cocktail was famously hard to make, requiring a full twelve minutes of shaking time, and bars there reportedly employed up to twenty bartenders at a time to shake up the cocktail. Legendary Louisiana politico Huey Long (the inspiration for Sean Penn’s character in All The King’s Men) liked the drink so much that he flew a New Orleans bartender up to New York City to teach the Ramos fizz to the bar staff at the New Yorker Hotel.
Lucky for you, you’ve got us instead. Now, you don’t necessarily need to shake this drink for twelve minutes, but there’s a reason the bar staff at this drink’s native home went to such an extent. When mixing a drink with egg, the extra shaking helps to emulsify the egg (especially when sugar, or simple syrup, is involved), both “cooking” the proteins in the egg and whipping it into the froth that creates the drink’s unique and much-loved texture. For the same reason, we’re going to shake this twice — once, first, without ice, to really whip up the froth, and once again, with ice, to chill the drink and finish the mixing.
For all the complicated mixing, the only really outlandish thing in this cocktail is the orange blossom water, which is a bit obscure, but lasts a long time. (If you must, you can substitute orange bitters, but it won’t be nearly the same.) Try this out sometime. Just don’t try it before dinner. It’ll fill you up like you wouldn’t believe.
Ramos Gin Fizz
- 2 oz. gin
- 1 oz. cream
- 1 egg white
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- Juice of 1/4 lime
- 3-4 dashes orange blossom water
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- Soda water
Combine all ingredients except soda water in an empty cocktail shaker (note: do not put ice into the shaker.) Shake the drink thoroughly without ice (preferably for at least a minute) to combine ingredients and create a good amount of froth. Then, add ice to the shaker and shake again (again, preferably for at least a minute). Strain into a tall cocktail glass, and finish with soda water. DON”T SERVE THIS WITH A STRAW. Sipping the drink through the foam on the top of the drink enhances the texture.