The Ramos Gin Fizz cocktail was invented in the 1880s, around the same time as the Manhattan Cocktail. Initially named New Orleans Fizz, this drink has it all.
It's creamy, fresh, citrusy, and has a gorgeous egg white foam, just the perfect drink to order at your favorite bar.
But don't order multiple Ramos Gin Fizz in a group unless you intend to become the bartender's enemy of the night.
You wonder why? Read on and find out why it can be one hell of a cocktail to make.
What's in a Ramos Gin Fizz
By looking at the list of ingredients, you can already guess that this is a crowd-pleaser.
It's a good amount of Gin, lemon and lime juice, egg white & cream for the foam, and orange flower water to add this special flavor note.
Most of the said ingredients are quite common in cocktails, but two are a little less ordinary. The first one is the cream for the elegant, foamy head of the cocktail. That is how you can recognize a Ramos Gin Fizz visually.
The second key ingredient is orange flower water. You only use a few drops. Still, it makes or breaks the result.
There's so much flavor in these drops that you can't skip them. By saying this, the strong flavor is also why you should not overdo it. Just a little too much, and it can ruin your drink.
As for the type of Gin in a Ramos Gin Fizz, a Dry or London Dry is an excellent choice. Also, remember that lime and lemon juice always have to be freshly squeezed if you want a great cocktail instead of an okay one.
Can I use a substitute for orange flower water?
When you want to create a proper, classic Ramos Gin Fizz, there's no way around the orange flower water.
People are trying to replace it with orange juice or liqueur, but I do not recommend it.
However, if you intend to make a riff on the classic recipe, naturally, there are things you can use as a substitute.
Besides various cocktail bitters, a possible replacement is rose water. It is another very flavorsome ingredient that you should handle with care, but it works great in a "Rose Ramos Gin Fizz."
The history of the Ramos Gin Fizz
For many cocktails, it's hard to tell precisely when they were mixed for the first time and who was the creator.
But it's different for the Ramos Gin Fizz. On the contrary, the history of the drink is surprisingly well-documented.
Henry C. Ramos invented the Ramos Gin Fizz in 1888 in his bar, the Imperial Cabinet Saloon in New Orleans.
Back then, he served it under the name New Orleans Fizz. And this New Orleans Fizz gained fame instantly.
By the time Henry C. Ramos opened another outlet (the Stag), people already had gotten used to referring to the creation by Henry's last name rather than New Orleans Fizz.
A consequence of the popularity of his drink was that Ramos had to hire more bartenders. And this got something to do with the reason why the cocktail is both loved and hated by bartenders.
The original recipe wants the bartender to shake the cocktail for 12 to 15 minutes. That had been necessary to obtain a perfect egg-white foam.
And if you ever used a cocktail shaker, you can guess what this means: it's hell. And to be able to serve many people at once, Ramos hired up to 20 bartenders, which all shook up his Ramos Gin Fizz simultaneously.
How to Make a Ramos Gin Fizz
Indeed, the most crucial part of preparing a Ramos Gin Fizz is the intense shaking. And trust me, you don't want to do the initially necessary 12 to 15 minutes.
Luckily, there are ways to make this process easier. The most common technique is dry shaking.
Dry Shaking a Cocktail
If you do not know what "dry shaking" means, let me explain.
Usually, you shake your cocktails by adding all ingredients (including the egg white for the foam, or the vegan alternative, Aquafaba) to your cocktail shaker. Then you add the ice and start to shake.
That works great most of the time, but it is different if you want a thick foam on top of your cocktail. A quick and easy shake won't do that.
What you should do for a "dry shake" is, add your ingredients to the shaker and leave off the ice.
This way, the egg white emulsifies a lot better, which results in a thicker foam. After the dry shake, open the shaker, add ice, and shake again.
But be cautious when dry shaking: As you're using room temperature ingredients and no ice, your cocktail shaker can pop open more easily.
The pressure building up inside is strong enough to let it "explode" if you're not careful.
Reverse Dry Shake
Another possible technique is the "reverse dry shake". Perhaps you can already guess what this means. It is also a 2-step process, but here, you shake with ice first.
Add all ingredients into your cocktail shaker minus the egg white, add ice, and shake.
After your drink is chilled, open the shaker, remove the ice, and add the egg white. Now you shake your drink again to create the beautiful egg white foam.
This method does work well but also has its downsides. You need to remove the ice after the first shaking, making it slightly more complicated than the traditional dry shake.
So if you want my opinion, go with a classic dry shake in this case.
If you want to know more about both methods and which one delivers that better results, then I recommend reading this article on Dry Shaking.
How long do I have to shake a Ramos Gin Fizz?
Shaking is the crucial part when preparing a Ramos Gin Fizz. And you might wonder how long you actually have to shake this drink.
The good news is that you need a lot less than 12 minutes for the perfect Ramos Gin Fizz. The recommendations range from 25 to 90 seconds. From my experience, I can say that you should be good with a total of 30 - 45 seconds in most cases.
That means you dry shake your cocktail for 10 - 15 seconds, then add ice and shake for another 15 - 20 seconds.
You should get a perfectly mixed Ramos Gin Fizz with a beautiful foam on top.
Don't let yourself be discouraged if it doesn't work out the first time. The Ramos Gin Fizz needs some practice.
But the result is delicious and worth it. So roll up your sleeves and grab your cocktail shaker. It's time to make some Ramos Gin Fizz cocktails.
- 2 oz Dry Gin
- 1 oz Whipped cream
- 1 pcs Egg white
- 0.5 oz Fresh lemon juice
- 0.5 oz Fresh lime juice
- 2-3 dashes Orange flower water
- Soda water
- Put all ingredients - except the soda water - in a cocktail shaker.
- Shake intensely and long enough for the cream and egg white to combine and create that beautiful foam.
- Add four to five medium-sized ice cubes and shake again strongly.
- Strain into a cold Collins or Highball glass and gently fill it up with soda water until the foam is slightly higher than the rim of the glass.