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Ramos Fizz


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#1 Snowy is dead

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 11:12 AM

Hi folks,

I was looking for a drink that I haven't tried yet but that I've heard of. I came up with the Ramos Fizz. Only problem is I can't seem to find any recipes that come close to being the same. Some have cointrea, orange flower water, some leave out the soda (which I don't get), and proportions differ.

Is there a "true" recipe, or is it up in the air? Further, is this a worthy beverage for the effort?

Thanks all.

#2 slkinsey

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 01:07 PM

Totally worth the effort, in my opinion. This is actually a real test of the bartender's skill, as it isn't easy to get everything emulsified just right.

I've always done something like this, which I think is a pretty traditional recipe:

2 oz :gin
1 oz : heavy cream
1 oz : lemon juice
.5 oz : lime juice
1 : medium egg white
2 drops : orange flower water *
1 tsp : superfine sugar

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with big** pieces of ice then shake the bejesus out of it for at least a minute -- preferably two, and you can always try for more. Strain into a tall narrow glass and top with a bit of fizz water.

* These vary widely in strength. I am speaking here of A. Monteux stuff, not the significantly weaker-flavored Middle Eastern stuff.
** Since you are going to be shaking a long time, the bigger the ice the better. This will allow you to get the proper texture without overly watering the drink.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#3 Mayhaw Man

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 01:50 PM

I've always thought that bars that serve lots of these (The Carousel Bar at the Monteleone in New Orleans, for example) would benefit by having one of those king-hell paint can shakers behind the bar. A couple of minutes in one of those babies and things would be just about right.

It's a drink well worth mastering. Plus, they look very cool in some nice glassware. Delicious and nutricious.
Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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#4 slkinsey

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 02:04 PM

I've always thought that bars that serve lots of these . . . would benefit by having one of those king-hell paint can shakers behind the bar.

Heh. I've had the same thought. Especially if you could rig it up to do maybe 10 at a time.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#5 Snowy is dead

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 07:29 AM

I looked up a little history on line for this drink (didn't note the site) and got a kick out the 35 people hired at the original bar just to shake this drink.

A friend of mine saw something like that in New York (again, didn't note which bar) where the bartender made the drink and started shaking, then passed the shaker to a barback who shook it some more. Those paint can shakers sound pretty good to that poor guy I bet!

I tried it last night. I used a different recipe that called for only 1/2 oz cream (I used half and half). Came out much different than I expected. It was lighter and had a nice citrus edge to it. surprising how much the orange water showed through. Is this a classic mix for gin? They seemed to play nicely together. (I used Plymouth).

The overall impression was that the test subjects (those who don't know when to run when I play with things I don't understand) were underwhelmed by the drink. Not unhappy, they just didn't think it was exciting. I used:

2 oz plymouth
1/2 lime
1 oz lemon
1/2 oz half and half
3 drops orange water
1/2 egg white
splash soda water
I think that's everything...
(edit to add sugar: didn't have superfine, so I used a tsp of white)

I'm going to try again with the full once of heavy cream and whole egg white, but am I right in thinking that this will dull the citrus/gin/orange flavor more? Or is this drink supposed to be more about the texture and mouthfeel than strong flavor? It looked damn cool, I have to say.

I just re-read the ingredients above. my ice sucks something fierce at my bar. The ice machine is on the fritz and makes small watery cubes, so this assuredly screws with anything delicate that I attempt. I doubt I can convince my boss to buy a new machine so I can get this drink right, however.

Thanks again for the help.
Sean

Edited by Snowy is dead, 12 May 2006 - 07:34 AM.


#6 slkinsey

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 07:36 AM

The mouthfeel is definitely important.

I'd suggest a few things:

1. Use a higher proof and more assertive gin than Plymouth. In the Ramos Fizz, those two ounces of strong have to cut through an awful lot of weak. I'd suggest something like Tanqueray.

2. Definitely use heavy cream. Half and half just doesn't give the same effect.

3. It's hard to get the orange flower water balance just right. You want it to be there, but to not completely dominate the drink IMO. Try maybe only two small drops and see how you like that.

4. Is it possible that you can put some of your ice in a separate freezer to get harder/colder for drinks that really need it?


It's fun and interesting that you can feel the texture of the drink change in the shaker, isn't it?
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#7 Alchemist

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 09:51 AM

If I can add just a few things.

Put your orange flower water (Try getting one produced in France, they are less oily than the middle eastern kind) in a tincture bottle so you have the ability to control each drop, a couple extra drops will ruin the drink. I like between four and seven depending on the brand of OFW. If you don't have a tincture bottle on hand, I'd say half a shallow barspoon is a good start. DON'T MEASURE THE ORANGE FLOWER WATER ABOVE THE SHAKER YOU ARE BUILDING THE COCKTAIL IN.

if you are using the standard 2 Oz. of gin (I agree a strong flavor profile is needed, tanq, Beefeater, Bombay White, Or say half Plymouth and half Junipero) I would use 1 Oz lemon, and the same of lime, to keep balance.

A whole Oz. of HEAVY Cream, and a full (medium) egg white are needed for mouth feel. And this should not be a boozy drink. It is more milkshake than martini. Settles the stomach at breakfast, or is light and refreshing on the verandah.

Ice should be large cold and wet. And this is the only drink I don't shake hard, a la paint shaker/jackhammer, to get the proper texture you don't want the cubes breaking up. I'm not saying you should rock it to sleep but you shouldn't hear the ice disintegrating till the end so it can get strained out quickly.

Once poured, I tap the glass on the bar to settle the bubbles, then spin the glass slowly to achieve maximum height. The meringue should be an inch above the lip of the glass so your first sip coats your top lip (F&$K MILK!). Boy I'm so ready for one right now.



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#8 slkinsey

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 11:11 AM

Once poured, I tap the glass on the bar to settle the bubbles, then spin the glass slowly to achieve maximum height.  The meringue should be an inch above the lip of the glass so your first sip coats your top lip

This is an interesting tip, and one I have not heard before. I assume the "tap and rotate" should happen after the drink is fizzed? I'm eager to give this one a try, as I have never been able to achieve the inch tall foam cap I've had at M&H.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#9 Snowy is dead

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 12:28 PM

Wow, thank you both.
so, to make sure I get this;
2 oz gin(tanq, beef)
1 oz lemon
1 oz lime
1 oz HEAVY cream
1 whole medium egg white
tsp sugar (can I use confectioners? I'm not sure what the superfine refers to.)
drops (I think I'm using middle eastern. Bottle is at work, so I'm not sure. Picked it up at whole foods) I'll start with 2, used 3 last night.
Soda water, before the tapping and swirling?

I'm going to pick up some better ice on the way to work, see how that goes. What is the glassware for this? A wine glass? and is there a garnish, or is the fluffy eggy pillow enough :biggrin:

I'll report back. Regardless of how it comes out, I'm having fun playing with this. Eggs scare the hell out of people in the 'burbs.

#10 eje

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 12:33 PM

What is the glassware for this?  A wine glass? and is there a garnish, or is the fluffy eggy pillow enough  :biggrin:

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A fizz glass, of course!

:wink:

I think a collins glass or champagne flute would be acceptable, as well.
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#11 slkinsey

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 12:53 PM

Wow, thank you both. 
so, to make sure I get this;
2 oz gin(tanq, beef)
1 oz lemon
1 oz lime
1 oz HEAVY cream
1 whole medium egg white
tsp sugar (can I use confectioners?  I'm not sure what the superfine refers to.)
drops (I think I'm using middle eastern.  Bottle is at work, so I'm not sure.  Picked it up at whole foods) I'll start with 2, used 3 last night.

Superfine sugar simply refers to the fineness of the grind. The sugar crystals are smaller. You can usually buy superfine sugar in most any grocery store. Comes in a box like this. You can make it yourself by whizzing it around in the food processor, but you should be able to find some already made. You don't want confectioner's sugar, which contains corn starch.

In re to the orange flower water, seek out the A. Monteux brand. That's what you want. Comes in a little plastic bottle (see my link above).

What is the glassware for this?  A wine glass? and is there a garnish, or is the fluffy eggy pillow enough  :biggrin:

Something tall and narrow. A Collins glass, more or less.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#12 Alchemist

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 09:07 PM

It should be half an Oz. of each citrus, if you are using simple syrup that is 1X1.

A classic Fizz Glass is slightly smaller than a highball, because Fizzes didn't have Ice in them, like highballs or collins'. Actually I find a small highball glass works best for the Ramos because it has both Egg white and cream the amount of espuma is wicked.

Note about the tap and spin method. I tap the glass lightly right after straining. Then hook the soda bottle (a siphon wont work) and dribble soda in, (about an ounce will do) as I spin the glass with the other hand to create a uniform Divils Mountain if Yummyness (that is the techinal term). Tastes better than mashed potatoes, and can lead to a close encounter of the best kind.

Oh Snowy should read the instructions in JIGGER, BEAKER AND GLASS.



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#13 Snowy is dead

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 12:04 AM

Snowy will be spending some time perusing the book. I enjoy the book, but the arcane proportions in most of the old books just make me scratch my head. The ABC of cocktail books say the average cocktail glass is 2 1/2 to 3 onces. I don't think I make shots that small, nevermind 5 ingredient drinks.

I did another one tonight. The drink came out much more subtle, with that "sorbet milkshake" thing going on. Pretty amazing drink to look at. Scared the hell out of the patrons at the bar. Some guy said he made them at TGI Fridays back before he got his "real job." Said they didn't look anything like that. Go figure. :biggrin: Can't say that I have a craving for them now, but I couldn't stop tasting it. soooo different, but cool. Like when you have a good viognier or something.

Fortunately, the woman I chose for my ghastly experiment enjoyed the drink very much. I used a tall and narrow wine glass. Got some good foam, and the drink didn't separate, unlike last time. I've gotta try one by someone who knows what they're doing

What's next? Any suggestions for a "next move up the clue train" in cocktails?

Sean

#14 Alchemist

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:07 AM

The Ramos is a tricky cocktail, because of the sheer number of things to balance. But on the flip side I think a couple of the hardest cocktails are with the least. I would say the test for a good bartender is an Old Fashion (Or a Treekle, I know that spelled wrong, so I just went Fo-net-ick). And I don't mean the muddled mess of cherry, orange, and badly balanced booze that some try to pass off as the proud grandfather of all libations.



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#15 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:17 AM

I found this thread very intriguing -- so much so that Kevin and I decided to mix up a large amount for guests on Saturday. Unfortunately, I only had Middle Eastern-brand orange blossom water which sadly completely overwhelmed the drink. I would love to try it from the hands of a true mix-master but we all took a sip and trashed our version. Shouldn't have wasted four eggs...

#16 Alchemist

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 11:39 AM

Yes must repete again 4-7 DROPS, NOT DASHES, DROPS, yes like what comes out of a Visine bottle when squeezed lightly, per drink. i think that I was over estimating how much a half barspoon was in one of my last posts. It should be less than a quarter of a shallow barspoon.



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#17 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 11:43 AM

So now, here's a related question...

We used our fancy-schmancy antique martini shaker to mix these puppies up. Then we had dinner and wine and dessert and promptly went to bed.

The next day (and now, almost four days later), I can't get the top off my shaker to clean it. I have soaked it in warm water and cold water, but I'm thinking the combination of eggwhite and cream has sealed it pretty good, but if anyone has any ideas on opening this thing, I'd love to hear it!

#18 Alchemist

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 11:49 AM

Soak in really hot water and then tap GENTLY, GENTLY, GENTLY and then use a gentel rocking motion. Is it glass or metal or a combo?



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#19 mbanu

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 11:10 AM

Hi folks,

I was looking for a drink that I haven't tried yet but that I've heard of.  I came up with the Ramos Fizz.  Only problem is I can't seem to find any recipes that come close to being the same.  Some have cointrea, orange flower water, some leave out the soda (which I don't get), and proportions differ. 

Is there a "true" recipe, or is it up in the air?  Further, is this a worthy beverage for the effort?

Thanks all.

View Post


A Ramos Gin Fizz is still a Gin Fizz. It's just been dolled up a little. :)

A few notes:

* It's a long drink, not a short drink. That means don't skimp on the soda water.

* Milk and citrus juice leads to curdling. Heavy cream and citrus juice leads to thickening. :)

* The orange flower water is for aroma. Don't add it to the shaker, add it to the finished drink.

* A little egg white goes a long way. Just don't forget to shake like crazy.

#20 slkinsey

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 11:59 AM

* It's a long drink, not a short drink. That means don't skimp on the soda water.

Hmmm. I'm not sure I agree with this. I've been drinking a lot of long fizz drinks over the last year, and while I started out thinking that a proper fizz needs a good several ounces of fizz water, my friends in the biz have demonstrated to me that many a fizz needs only around an ounce. I find this to be especially true of silver fizzes (i.e., those shaken with egg white).
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#21 Snowy is dead

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 07:31 AM

so the fizz is more a style of drink than a demand for lots of bubbles?
Have to say, I didn't really notice much carbonation, but it did help to thin it out a bit.

#22 Alchemist

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 09:29 AM

The fizz should add efervesence, make the cocktail dance on your tounge, maybe tickle your nose a bit, it shouldn't be like drinking out of a big gulp of Mountain Dew. You are watering down something that allready has it's water content from shaking. Less is more. It's allways easier to add soda than take it out.



A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

#23 Carolyn Tillie

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Posted 19 May 2006 - 09:55 AM

Soak in really hot water and then tap GENTLY, GENTLY, GENTLY and then use a gentel rocking motion.  Is it glass or metal or a combo?

View Post


All metal - will try and report back!

#24 butterscotch

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 02:51 PM

i remember being introduced to these at the tiny old bar in the Algonquin Hotel. David indeed "annointed" the drink with orange flower water. i can't recall how he actually did this, but it was not mixed in, it was the final touch. maybe just sprinkle a few drops and swirl it through the foam?

A Ramos Gin Fizz is still a Gin Fizz. It's just been dolled up a little. :)

* The orange flower water is for aroma. Don't add it to the shaker, add it to the finished drink.

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#25 johnder

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:22 PM

So I found a book in a used bookstore the other day entitled:

Famous New Orleans Drinks and How To Mix Them, first printed in 1937.

They of course have a looooong blurb about the Ramos and they author states that the recipe is the "authentic" recipe.

1 tbs powdered sugar
3-4 drops organge flower water
1/2 lemon (juiced)
1/2 lime (juiced)
1 jigger dry gin
1 white of egg
1 jigger rich milk or cream
1 squirt seltzer
2 drops vanilla extract

The interesting thing is the vanilla extract. The author goes on to say that the "Old Timers" that worked for Ramos said the drink didn't include vanilla, while others

"hold that the twin drops of extract wrung from the heart of the bean either make or break a real gin fizz -- make it taste like heaven, or the reverse"


Has anyone tried a Ramos with Vanilla?

I am curious enough that I will give it a shot tonight.
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#26 slkinsey

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:34 PM

FWIW, I've always taken "powdered sugar" in the old books to mean "superfine sugar" rather than the sugar-plus-corn-starch powdered sugar we have now.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#27 Martin Doudoroff

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 12:53 PM

Yea, that whole "powdered sugar" thing is a real problem, especially with all the hapless bartenders whose only bar guide is one of the gawdawful Mr. Boston books from the last several decades. You can use what we currently know as "powdered sugar" or "confectioners sugar" in preparing the exteriors of glassware or in dusting garnishes, but you simply cannot use it to sweeten a cocktail. Use simple syrup.

Additional suggestions:

Stop buying half-and-half. It has virtually no use in cocktails, and you can always cut cream with milk to produce your own half-and-half for your coffee or whatever. Also, look out for better cream that doesn't have additives: the better your cream, the better your cream drinks will be.

In cases like the Ramos, I think it's always worth trying Dale DeGroff's recipe from Craft of the Cocktail (see page 117). You may elect to adjust his recipes to your own taste (often, in my case, to make them less sweet), but his book has many classic recipes that have been adapted and vetted for contemporary ingredients. (Keep in mind that all his recipes assume a 1:1 syrup.)

#28 johnder

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Posted 15 August 2006 - 01:52 PM

Stop buying half-and-half. It has virtually no use in cocktails, and you can always cut cream with milk to produce your own half-and-half for your coffee or whatever. Also, look out for better cream that doesn't have additives: the better your cream, the better your cream drinks will be.

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I have been using Ronnybrook farms heavy cream in my Ramos' -- talk about killer.
I am not sure what the fat content of their cream is, but wow it is rich.

John
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#29 ThinkingBartender

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 12:26 AM

Time Magazine, 1st October 1928

"Died. Henry Charles ("Carl") Ramos, 72, veteran New Orleans saloonkeeper, inventor of the famed, much-imitated Ramos gin fizz;* in New Orleans."

"*Fizzmaker Ramos' recipe: 1 tablespoonful powdered sugar; 3 or 4 drops of orange flower water; juice of one-half lime; juice of one-half lemon; one jigger of Old Tom gin (Old Gordon alternative, but sweet gin preferable); white of one egg; one-half glass of crushed ice; 2 tablespoonfuls of rich milk or cream; an ounce of seltzer for pungency; shake till milklike in air-tight shaker and strain."


Does this mean to shake the seltzer (sodawater) in the shaker? one ounce wouldn't cause an explosion, but it would knock the bubbles out.

Does anyone have any citations for the making of the Ramos Gin Fizz by Ramos himself, i.e. the technique he used personally?

#30 daisy17

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 11:37 AM

This weekend's New York Times Magazine

Would so hit the spot right now . . . .