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 a group unless your intent to become the bartender’s enemy of the night. You wonder why? Read on and learn why this one hell of a cocktail to make.
The history of the Ramos Gin Fizz
For many cocktails, it’s hard to tell exactly 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 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), the drink already got referred to with Henry’s last name rather than New Orleans Fizz.
But don’t let yourself be discouraged and it at home. Primarily because it’s so delicious and so worth it, and second, there are ways to speed things up. So roll up your sleeves and grab your cocktail shaker. It’s time to make some Ramos Gin Fizz cocktails.
A consequence of this popularity 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 was 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 Gin Fizz simultaneously.
How to make a Ramos Gin Fizz
The most important part of the preparation of a Ramos Gin Fizz is indeed the intense shaking. But trust me, you don’t want to do the originally required 12 to 15 minutes. So here are the 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 quickly 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 then you 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, and that 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 already have an idea of what this means. It uses a similar 2-step process, but this time 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 strain out the ice after the first shaking, which makes it slightly more complicated than the traditional dry shake. So if you ask me, go with a classic dry shake.
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, many bartenders today propose way less than 12 minutes for making a Ramos Gin Fizz. The recommendations range from 25 to 90 seconds. But I say you should be good with a total of 30 – 45 seconds in most cases.
Dry shake your cocktail first 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 get discouraged if it doesn’t work out the first time, the Ramos Gin Fizz needs some practice, and maybe you have to shake it a bit stronger or longer.
What’s in a Ramos Gin Fizz
By looking at the list of ingredients, you instantly can see 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 those ingredients are pretty common in cocktails, but two are particularly essential for making a great Ramos Gin Fizz. The first one is the cream for the elegant, foamy head of the cocktail. That is probably the most famous part to recognize a Ramos Gin Fizz visually.
The second key ingredient is orange flower water. You only use a few drops or dashes, but this makes or breaks your result. There’s so much flavor in these drops that you can’t skip them. By saying this, the strong flavor is also the reason why you should not overdo it. Just a few drops too much can also ruin your drink.
Can I use a substitute for orange flower water?
When you want to create a decent, classic Ramos Gin Fizz, there’s no way you can replace the orange flower water. People are trying to replace it with orange juice or orange liqueur, but I do not recommend it.
However, if you intend to make a riff on the classic recipe, there are things you can use as a substitute. Besides various cocktail bitters, a possible replacement could be rose water. It also is a very flavorsome ingredient you have to be careful with, but it can work great in a “Rose Ramos Gin Fizz.”
- 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.