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Ramos Gin Fizz

Henry Charles Ramos seems to have been one of the greatest barmen in history. He was certainly famous in his time, anyway. The Ramos Gin Fizz is what he is remembered for and when I found this old bar menu from a restaurant (now closed) in San Antonio that claimed to be “Home of the Famous Ramos Gin Fizz” AND it included a recipe, well, clearly I had to try it out.



In researching the drink and the man who created it (after trying it of course), I realized that it is not likely that a restaurant in San Antonio could really be considered the home of the Ramos Gin Fizz, since old Ramos invented his drink in New Orleans and it’s one of the most famous drinks to ever come out of the city. I also found that the recipe on the card is not quite the original but fortunately for us, my natural desire to tinker with things led me in the right direction and the drink we ended up making on the show is very much like the original.

I decided to use lemon and lime juice as opposed to the recipe I had which asked for lemon OR lime juice. I also doubled everything but the egg to account for the humongo size of modern eggs. Didn’t use any seltzer water like I later found was in the original, but it would have been nice I think.

Anyway, here’s what I did for the Ramos Gin Fizz. It’s an interesting drink for sure, not at all bad. The texture is smooth and creamy and pleasant, the sweet and sour balance is spot-on, and the orange flower water adds a really delightful aroma and sort of a floral, perfumed aftertaste. If you like eggnog and you like not-very-sweet drinks, you will probably like this. It also looks really pretty and classy. One was enough, however, and after two I was ready for some straight gin, having met my raw egg quota for the year. With that said, the recipe I am offering makes two (smallish) drinks. So find a buddy!

Ramos Gin Fizz Video

Ramos Gin Fizz Recipe

Ramos Gin Fizz
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • One lemon, juiced
  • One lime, juiced
  • One egg white
  • 10 drops orange flower water
  • 4 ounces half-and-half
  • (Optional I guess, since I left it out: 2 ounces seltzer water)
Instructions
  1. Combine all in a shaker with a couple of ice cubes and shake the holy living shit out of it for about a minute. You need to get the egg white frothy. Strain into glasses, straight up, no ice.

And here’s a link to an article about the man and the drink, written in 1928. It includes the REAL ORIGINAL recipe which is pretty close to what we did and a nice description of his style and character. I would have liked to meet this guy, but I bet he wouldn’t have liked me very much.

For more information about cocktails and cocktail lore, check out the Tipsy Texan and me making PUNCH!

10 Comments

  1. Dan Alcantara on May 14, 2010 at 12:56 am

    I need to get some gin to try this thing out. And also to make martinis.

    • Hilah Cooking on May 14, 2010 at 1:13 am

      Gin is good for SO MANY THINGS!!!

  2. Jozette on May 15, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I so wanna try this, love a good gin drink, my usual is just gin an tonic, mmmm, but this puts some boom pow to it with all that stuff. Is it really sweet? Not crazy about a too sweet drink though.
    Note:I like that Bombay Sapphire, the turquoise bottle.

    • Hilah Cooking on May 16, 2010 at 2:44 pm

      So far everyone who has tried it has been pleased!

  3. Stephanie on May 20, 2010 at 5:18 am

    Yum, this sounds great! I love gin too. What kind of gin did you use in this drink?

    • Hilah Cooking on May 20, 2010 at 12:05 pm

      I don’t remember but it was probably Gordon’s. Definitely was a cheapish gin.

  4. Pete Henderson on April 28, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    The soda water is essential. That’s where the fizz comes from.

    It’s OK to use a blender, but not for nearly as long as shaking by hand. I use Gilbey’s or New Amsterdam which also works well in martinis. It has a lemony aftertaste so there’s no need for a twist in that martini. In fact New Amsterdam can be enjoyed on the rocks without any Vermouth at all.

    If using Gilbey’s for a martini, best proportions are 3 oz gin to 1/2 oz Vermouth or 6 to 1. Shake well or stir 100 times with a cocktail spoon. If you shake you’ll see little bubbles and the cocktail might appear a bit cloudy. Stirring will result in a crystal clear solution. Bartenders used crushed ice so they don’t have to shake or stir that long. You need the ice melt to dilute the cocktail and civilize it. Don’t skimp on the stirring/shaking.

    For both the fizz and martini, be sure to chill the glasses in the freezer to the same temperature as the ice.

    • Hilah on April 29, 2013 at 10:18 am

      Hey Pete!
      Thanks for the tips! I read one explanation for the “fizz” that it was just from the frothy egg whites, but I’m convinced now that soda water is where it’s at.
      I’ll look out for New Amsterdam. Never have tried that one. I got a bottle of Aviation gin a while ago that was really superb. I believe it’s made in Portland.

  5. Margie McAllister on September 11, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Here’s my grandfather Mac’s Ramos Gin Fizz recipe, likely from the ’20s. I’m typing this verbatim from his handwritten note:

    Ramos Gin Fizz (four four)

    4 oz gin (or to taste)
    Juice of 2 lemons and 3 oranges
    4 teaspoons sugar
    1 pint vanilla ice cream
    2 drawers of crushed ice

    For additional flair add tablespoon of orange flower water
    and top off the glasses with just a ‘zzzt’ of soda

    • Hilah on September 11, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      Thank you, Margie! This made me smile. Sounds like a delicious variation on the Ramos gin fizz. We are so fortunate to have these old recipes written in our loved ones’ handwriting. 🙂

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