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Order A Classic: Ramos Gin Fizz

Jane Ryan | 24/05/2016

Gin, cream, lemon, lime, sugar, egg white, orange flower water and soda water.

This is the mother of all boozy milkshakes - a concoction so silky smooth, creamy, light and delicious that it very literally defies gravity. Order one in a busy bar and you will receive death threats (or at very least an evil eye) from your bartender, as this drink takes a very long time to shake. However if it's on the menu or you happen to be sat in a very quiet bar then order away and experience the bliss of a perfectly prepared Ramos. 

Also known as the New Orleans Fizz, the Ramos comes from the Big Easy, dating back to at least 1887. It was then that bartender Henry Charles Ramos – Carl to his friends – and his brother took over the Imperial Cabinet Saloon.

Luckily for Carl things went incredibly well, possibly due to the Midwest states drying up, sending tourists into the city seeking out boozy concoctions. By 1900 Carl’s special Fizz had caused quite the sensation with newspaper Kansas City Star calling the bar “the most famous gin fizz saloon in the world...Ramos serves a gin fizz which is not equalled anywhere.”

What was so special about the Ramos? It uses two ingredients that are the hardest to mix: egg white and cream. Individually they tend not to cause such a problem but together it requires a lot of shaking to get them to emulsify. Ramos got around this by employing a shaker boy for each of his bartenders, whose job was to simply shake the cocktail. Sources from the time say that this went on for up to 15 minutes.

"To sip a Ramos Fizz on a hot day is to step into a sepia-toned world peopled with slim, brown-eyed beauties who smell of magnolias and freshly laundered linen, and tall, mustachioed gentlemen who never seem to work and will kill you if you ask them why." - David Wondrich.

Thankfully for modern drinkers Ramos happily told people his recipe, so we can make a Ramos Gin Fizz almost exactly as those revellers would have enjoyed them in 1915. His notes on execution? “Shake and shake and shake until there is not a bubble left but the drink is smooth and snowy white and of the consistency of good rich milk.”

Your bartender will need to have access to fresh lemon juice, lime juice, cream and eggs as well as gin, orange flower water and soda water. And some strong arm muscles. Remember to tip for this drink!


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