Mixology: Ramos Gin Fizz Makes Its Return to New Orleans

New Orleans is already home to a collection of classic cocktails, and the Ramos Gin Fizz returned to claim its spot amongst them.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

From the Sazerac to the French 75, New Orleans is the domestic home of some classic and sophisticated cocktails. Now, another Big Easy favorite is making a comeback in the French Quarter.

The Bourbon O Bar inside the Bourbon Orleans Hotel is bringing back the Ramos Gin Fizz to its menu during this year’s Tales of the Cocktail event in July.

Ms. Cheryl Charming, bar mistress of the Bourbon O Bar, reports that Henry Carl Ramos originated the drink in 1887 at his Imperial Cabinet Saloon in downtown New Orleans. Seemingly a perfect drink for summer on the Bayou, Ramos employed a line of “shaker boys” who would shake the drink for two minutes each, then pass it along the line until it was shaken for a minimum of six minutes and as many as 12. New Orleans history tells us Ramos served up as many as 5000 of the drinks each week for the 33 years his bar was open to the public.

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After prohibition, the drink became a favorite of Huey P. Long, the Governor and Senator of Louisiana who brought a local bartender with him to New York in order to keep himself in“proper” Ramos Gin Fizzes while he stopped at New York’s Roosevelt Hotel.

Following the demise of Ramos’ bar in 1919, New Orleans has not seen a proper Ramos Gin Fizz made with the full length of shake for 96 years later. Now, the Bourbon O Bar brought the drink back fully shaken by importing a specialty Gin Fizz shaker. The double barreled shaking machine replaces the line of “shaker boys” and forges the mix that holds to the 6 to 12 minute shakes that were Henry Ramos’ trademark.

If you want to give the drink a shot yourself at home (and are ready to do all of that shaking), check out the recipe below:

Ramos Gin Fizz

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz. gin
  • 1 Tbsp. simple syrup (1:1)
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 fresh egg white
  • 1 oz. heavy cream
  • 3 drops orange flower water
  • 1 oz. club soda, chilled
  • Tools: shaker, strainer
  • Glass: highball; Garnish: Orange peel

Preparation:

Combine the first six ingredients in a shaker without ice and shake vigorously to combine. Add ice to the shaker and shake again for at least six to 12 minutes. Strain into a glass, top with club soda and the orange flower water and stir.