Libations: Capitol Bar's Kevin Hopper makes the classic cocktail Ramos Gin Fizz
There is a reason that people naturally convene in the kitchen. Remember houses with sitting rooms that no one ever sat in? Where were they sitting? Nowhere. They were standing in the kitchen, smelling what was in the oven and watching the hosts create the evening’s food and drink “entertainment.” They wanted to be where the magic happened.
If you are this type of host/entertainer, and you are looking to thrill your dinner guests, the Ramos Gin Fizz is your next big schtick.
Created in the late 1800s by New Orleans barkeep Henry C. Ramos, the Ramos Gin Fizz has become a bastion in the cocktail industry. It’s a bit difficult to master, but a showstopper when done right. Essentially, it is nothing more than an egg white sour with soda added, or a Tom Collins with cream and egg white. However, there is a key technique that makes this drink shine. That’s where the magic occurs.
What’s interesting about this drink is that Ramos kept his recipe a closely guarded secret, which many bartenders did in that era, but only until Prohibition started. That’s when he decided to share it. As a result, it remains a staple of the industry today.
The Ramos Gin Fizz is at once creamy, frothy, silken, floral, rich, light, sour, milky and bubbly. When you make a proper gin fizz, you are striking delicate balance of flavors that will have your dinner guests (and yourself actually) in awe.
This is the legacy of Henry C. Ramos. He created a cocktail that tastes like no other; one that is so light that it goes down extremely easily, yet it is a drink you will want to sip slowly and deliberately. It is heaven in a glass, if there is such a thing. Be warned: Most bartenders will either not want to make this drink, or will not be familiar with it. I suggest honing your own skills and showing it off at your next big shindig.
Kevin Hopper likes all things creamy, frothy, milky, boozy and bubbly. Find him at State Street cocktail house Capitol Bar.
Ramos Gin Fizz
2 ounces premium gin (Plymouth or Prairie)
1/2 ounce heavy cream
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
1 egg white
3 drops orange flower water
1 ounce soda water
In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients except soda water. Add ice and shake, shake, shake for a good minute or more (aeration is the key). Strain out the ice and shake again without ice (this is called a dry shake will help increase the foaminess) for a good 45 seconds. In a chilled Collins glass add 1/2 ounce of soda water. Pour the contents of the shaker into the Collins glass; the soda will float to the top in about 10 seconds. Your cocktail shaker will still have some remnants of the mixture, so pour more soda into the shaker, swirl around and pour into the Collins glass until the foam reaches the top (or higher) of the glass. A gentle tap of the glass on the counter will help the foam rise above the rim of the glass. Magic indeed.