The origins of most classic cocktail recipes are hazy or disputed (or both), but the Ramos Gin Fizz is consistently credited to New Orleans bartender Henry Charles Ramos. As the story goes, in 1888 Ramos created a gin cocktail with a milkshake-like consistency that became a local sensation. Then called the New Orleans Fizz, the gin cocktail was so popular that Ramos reportedly hired “shaker boys” whose sole responsibility was to prepare the drinks for thirsty crowds—the drink requires two rounds of shaking: a dry shake (without ice) to emulsify the egg white and an iced shake to chill the cocktail.
The exact ingredients were a closely guarded secret, with some speculating that vanilla extract was the key to its frothy je ne sais quoi. In 1928, after Ramos died, a New Orleans newspaper published a tribute that included what it claimed was his original recipe. It featured Old Tom gin, heavy cream or “rich milk,” and powdered sugar but otherwise wasn’t too different from the versions served in bars from London to Louisiana today. Garnished with nothing other than a meringue-like cloud of froth, the richness of the drink is balanced by dry gin and two types of citrus.
Head this way for that other New Orleans classic, the Sazerac→
Makes 1 cocktail
In large cocktail shaker, combine 2 oz. gin, 1 dash (3 to 4 drops) orange blossom water, 1 large egg white, ½ oz. half-and-half, ½ oz. fresh lemon juice, ½ oz. fresh lime juice, and ½ oz. simple syrup. Seal and shake vigorously without ice for 25 seconds to emulsify egg white. Unseal shaker, add ice, and shake vigorously again until shaker is well chilled, about 30 seconds more.
Strain mixture into a narrow 8-ounce glass. Slowly pour 1 oz. chilled seltzer down inside edge of shaker to loosen remaining froth. Gently ease seltzer/froth mixture onto drink and serve.
Editor’s note: This Ramoz Gin Fizz recipe first appeared on Epicurious in January 2009. Head this way for more of our favorite gin cocktails →
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New Years we cooked for two days all kinds of deliciousness. We ended up with tons of egg whites (which I refuse to throw out). So I made it a goal to use them all up. I made these and they were excellent. I was worried as non of the guests are really gin people. But I used the "H" gin, handcrafted from Scotland with the diamond shaped label. Anyway these were a hit. Frothy, ever so slightly sweet, with a nice tang. The froth is what makes these killer. And to those people who worry about Raw Egg, I wouldn't. With two ounces of Gin, and a tablespoon each of Lemon and Lime., there is no bacteria that would survive that. Excellent!
Laguna Beach, So CAL
I have great recipe that we southerners love for tailgating year round. It would be fantastic with a gin fizz or a cold beer. It's really easy ,too, and everyone loves it. VIDALIA ONION DIP Mix equal parts of chopped sweet onions, mayo, grated Swiss cheese. Add a couple dashes of hot sauce and pinch of salt. Bake at 325 degrees about 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve with anything from Ritz Crackers to tortilla chips.
Rock Hill, SC
Sophisticated appetizer that accompanies BBQ ribs surprisingly well.
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