Ramos Gin Fizz

About a year ago I started researching all things Mardi Gras; recipes, cocktails, history, and more. See I was hosting a Mardi Gras dinner party and I don’t mess around when it comes to parties… or cocktails.

Everyone has heard of a Sazerac, and no one actually wants to drink a Hurricane so the search was on for a cocktail that originated in NOLA, was sophisticated yet fun, and interesting enough to start the night off or take us all the way through.

Originally called the ‘New Orleans Fizz’, it became so popular after being served at the Imperial Cabinet Bar in 1888 that the name changed to honor it’s originator – Henry C. Ramos. Mr. Ramos eventually opened up another bar – The Stag, where his drink’s reputation blew up. Rumor has it that 20 bartenders had to be working on this cocktail alone per night. After shaking up a handful of these over the year I can actually see why it would take 20, 25, 30 bartenders to keep up with the Mardi Gras demand. This cocktail is good, but it requires a lot of shaking to really do the fizz justice.

Now, Mr. Ramos held his cocktail recipe close lipped and the verdict is still out if he ever did end up sharing the secret. So either he let it slip after one too many fizzes, or someone came darn close to replicating the concoction because the Ramos Gin Fizz has been solidified as an iconic NOLA and quite honestly one of my favorite cocktails of all time.

Gin haters, relax. You can’t even taste the juniper berries in this drink. It’s a light, refreshing, easy to drink-but-you-better-keep-track-of-how-many-you’re-drinking kind of cocktails.

Ramos Gin Fizz | Makes one cocktail

2 oz. Gin (I use Hendricks or Tanqueray)
1 dash orange blossom water
1 large egg white
1 tbsp half-half
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp simple syrup
1 cup of ice cubes
Sparkling water

Add all the ingredients to a shaker, minus the ice and sparkling water, and shake hard. And shake some more. (This is called dry shaking and a super important step to do!) Open the shaker and add ice just about above the liquid line. Shake and then shake some more. Maybe a little more just for a good faith effort. Strain into a highball glass. Pour a tad of sparkling water into the shaker and swirl to get the cocktail residue and slowly pour the sparking water into the highball glass.

Mardi Gras is next week so rest your arms up and celebrate by whipping up this delicious drink. After all, Mardi Gras is about being a little over the top!

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Holiday Cheer

Before I start sharing the deets of this festive little cocktail, I want to say a quick thank you to everyone who reached out about my post below. It’s amazing to me that people I haven’t spoke to in years reached out and shared their journey – it really meant a lot.

Ok! Now back to our regularly scheduled programming… holiday cocktails!

The week before Thanksgiving I started testing out cocktails and it’s kind of a two-birds-one-stone situation since Thanksgiving and December holidays are so close. The Blackberry pear smash won Thanksgiving (recipe coming soon!) but this little cranberry peppercorn number might slide into first for our Christmas cocktail. 

I have been so intrigued to make a cocktail using pink peppercorns. Pink peppercorns are a dried berry of the shrub Schinus molle, commonly known as the Peruvian peppertree but they don’t have as harsh of a “pepper” taste as say black peppercorns. Turns out, pink peppercorns aren’t even peppers at all! It’s lighter, brighter, and a little pop of spice. 

To begin I made a cranberry “compote” using sugar, fresh cranberries, peppercorns and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat and let it simmer down into more of a thick liquid consistency. Remove from heat, and cool. Add 1.5 oz. of the mixture, 2 oz. of Gin (or you can substitute with Vodka) shake, pour and top with your favorite sparkling water!

It’s surprisingly a refreshing, light drink which is a great alternative to everyone’s favorite – spiked nog. Which I didn’t try to make my own, but I’m tempted this season to give it a shot!

 Pink Peppercorn Cranberry Cheer

                                                                    Gin based | makes one cocktail 

  • 1.5 oz of Cranberry Compote Mixture
  • 2 oz  of Gin (I used Hendricks)
  • Top with sparkling water

 

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Changing Colors

Changing Colors | makes two drinks

  • 3 shots bourbon
  • 2 shots apple cider syrup (see first line of recipe below)
  • 1 shot fresh lemon juice
  • 2 strips of orange zest (for the apple cider syrup &/or to garnish)
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 clove, optional

Add the bourbon, apple cider syrup, and lemon juice to the shaker.

Boil the apple cider, 1 cinnamon stick, and orange zest over high heat until reduced. (I boiled two cups down to 3/4 cup). Set aside to chill. Break cinnamon stick in half. Add the bourbon, apple cider syrup, additional cinnamon stick pieces, and lemon juice to the shaker.  Add ice above the level of the liquid and shake. Pour over ice and garnish with your choice of a clove, cinnamon stick, or orange peel! Cheers!

 

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Cool as a Cucumber

Catasphrophic hurricane coming your way?! Flo is just reminding us that summer isn’t over yet! Forget the halloween decor and pumpkin spice lattes… go home, whip up a batch of guacamole and shake up this cucumber cilantro margarita and ignore all this gosh darn rain! Warning: Don’t stop reading if you hate cilantro, which I know is common, just skip the cilantro for a cool twist to the traditional margarita that’s still super delicious!

Cucumber Cilantro Margarita | makes 1 cocktail

Muddle 3 slices cucumber, 2-3 tablespoons cilantro, leaves, the sugar and 1 lime wedge in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add the tequila, triple sec and lime juice. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Circle the rim of your glass with the remaining wedge of lime, and add salt or sugar if desired. Pour over either pebbled/crushed ice or a large ice-cube and enjoy!

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Sippin’ on a Southern Summer

D.C. isn’t the south… I know this. But this cocktail will take you to a southern state of mind regardless of where you’re sipping it! The black walnut bitters really compliment the sweet ripe peach and it mixes oh so well with the smooth bourbon flavor leaving you with just a hint of mint. Speaking on mint… I understand not all have mint infused simple syrup at the ready in the fridge, but I highly recommend you whip up a batch to change that! You can use the mint syrup for so much more than just cocktails. For example, throw a dash or two in hot or iced tea instead of granular sugar for a refreshing twist! I do usually have some on stocked in a mason jar in our fridge so it’s chilled, but if you don’t have any on hand it’s about the easiest thing to make:

Mint Infused Simple Syrup: Pour equal parts sugar and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add about 6-8 whole sprigs of mint and stir. Chill before using in cocktails.

 

Southern Summer | Yields 2 cocktails

3 oz of Bourbon

1.5 oz of Mint Infused Simple Syrup

1/2 Peach, muddled

3 dashes of Black Walnut Bitters

 

In a shaker muddle half of a peach. Add in bourbon, simple syrup, and 3 hefty dashes of Black Walnut Bitters. Add ice halfway up the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with a slice of peach and enjoy!

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The L Train

March is one of those funny months where your mind is telling you that it’s time to pack away your sweaters and Mother Nature is saying “pack away your sweaters?! Oh hunny, check the forecast again.” I have had such a Spring itch since about mid-February so a snowy day in late March is just plain mean! So mean that I decided what the heck, if the weather isn’t going to give me Spring Vibes, I’m going to make a cocktail that does! Insert: The L Train.

This recipe is pulled from the W&P Mason Shaker Cocktail book, Shake. (It’s my go-to cocktail recipe book if you’re in the market.) It’s light, floral, and definitely a refreshing little reminder to stay patient, Spring is just around the corner!

The L Train | Makes two drinks

  • 2 shots gin
  • 1 shot St-Germain
  • 1/2 shot fresh lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs lavender (plus 2 to garnish)
  • Seltzer, plain
  1. Add the gin, St-Germain, lemon juice and lavender to a shaker.
  2. Add ice to just above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 5 seconds.
  3. Strain the mixture into chilled coupe glasses and top with seltzer. Garnish with remaining lavender sprigs.

 

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Pamplemousse & Herbe de Sauge

Are you confused? Don’t worry the title isn’t in english, pamplemousse is just a fancy shmancy name for a Grapefruit, and sage (yes sage) is declicious in cocktails. And by the way, grapefruits are in season from November to May so it’s the most perfect time of the year to whip up a cocktail with pink or red fresh grapefruit juice! There’s something about the Rye Whiskey and the tartness of the grapefruit that makes this cocktail so winter-esq and great for dinner parties, cocktail exchanges or just curling up by your perfectly decorated tree! (But don’t worry, if you’ve found this recipe outside of those months, it’ll still be delicious and you can swap out the Rye for Gin!)

Pamplemousse & Herbe de Sauge | Yields 2 cocktails

  • 2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. fresh red or pink grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • ¼ oz. agave or simple syrup (you can also make a brown sugar syrup)
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 1 fresh sage leaf

 

Cocktail Garnish Tip: When using herbs, smack or roll in your palm to release the oils and flavor more vividly from the herb.

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Mature Mimosa

Last fall J & I were gearing up for our “I do’s” so it seemed like we took a season off from the college-football-watching-snack-filled-lots-of-drinking weekends that we grew accustomed too in our early dating. Since this fall we’re brand spanking new homeowners we can’t put a hard-stop on the weekend honey-do list, but we can definitely press pause for at least a game or two.  “Pausing” is something that I’m consciously trying to do a little more often. I tend to get caught up in the constant rushing to and from and worrying about what to do next instead of giving giving myself a break. So trust me when I say, this twist on a mimosa was exactly what the doctor ordered to helped me pause & enjoy the weekend with J so much so I foresee whipping these up again this weekend!

Mature Mimosa Champagne Cocktail  | makes 4 cocktails 

  • 4 quarter to half-inch rounds of orange (I used Navel Oranges)
  • 10 dashes of orange bitters
  • 1 shot of orange liqueur (I used Patron)
  • Champagne
  • Orange zest strips (to garnish)

Place the orange rounds on foil and broil under high heat until browning with a little bit of charred. Let orange rounds cool. Add orange liqueur, orange rounds, and dash bitters. Muddle together. Add ice above the level of the liquid and give it a quick stir or shake. Pour mixture about 1/3 of the way of your coupe  and top with 2/3 champagne. Make it even fancier with a twisted orange peel! Cheers!

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The ‘Rye’pe Apple

It is officially Fall which has me thinking it’s time to bring on all the pumpkin flavored everything and bourbon cocktails! I can’t add in “layering, scarves, boots, etc.” yet because it’s still in the 80 90’s here and although we never never treat bourbon cocktails as a seasonal thing, this one definitely packs in that It’s Autumn punch! So who cares that it’s still summer temps! If you want a bourbon cocktail that tastes like fall (or you’re a fan of Hard Apple Ciders) this one is for you… and for all those who DM’d me when I posted this instagram of us trying it out the other night! That’s the fun part about blogging these recipes- there’s always a taste test and then a real deal. This one is the real deal and then some!

The ‘Rye’pe Apple | Makes One Cocktail

  • 1 shot rye whiskey (or you can use bourbon)
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch cloves
  • 3 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Hard Apple Cider

Add the whiskey, cinnamon, cloves and bitters to a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour over a collins or highball glass with ice cubes (I love this ice tray for cocktails) and top with your favorite hard apple cider. If you’re feeling fancy, garnish with a strip of orange zest or a cinnamon stick- Cheers!

 

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ALL SOULS

All Souls

All Souls

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All Souls

I forget exactly how I came across ALL SOULS but as soon as I did it was on my places to go list! And probably bumped a couple other places down a notch or two! We don’t venture over into Shaw too often but we’ve been exploring more and more places. (Like here when we dined at Espita Mezcaleria!) All Souls is absolutely true to it’s word- it’s a Corner Bar located at 8th & T NW, serving only cocktails, beer, and wine… that happen to be quite delicious! We opted to try drinks off the cocktail list which includes 22 simple yet tasty drinks made with some fun ingredients and definite attention to detail. And speaking of simple, All Souls decided instead of naming each cocktail they’d just number them so pick a number any number- it’s going to be good!

First Round: I went with No. 22: Bayou Rum, Cynar, Fresh Orange Juice and Regan’s Bitters. The Cynar definitely shines through making this cocktail a refreshing, bittersweet drink. Sounds a little like an oxymoron but I would definitely recommend! J ordered No. 6: Maker’s Mark, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Fresh Grapefruit and St. Germain. I actually preferred his over mine, it had a smoother less bittersweet taste.

Second Round: I wanted to order something that would be a good transition from my first cocktail so I decided on No. 1: The Barcelona. It was Maker’s Mark, Cointreau, Fresh Sour Mix & topped with Cava. I’m a sucker for anything with bubbles and this one intrigued me since I love a whiskey sour. It was good, very good, and the sour left you wanting more! J let me order his second round so I picked a cocktail that I was excited to try as well! I ordered the No. 4: Juan’s Chilean Afro. Kappa Pisco, Aperol, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, and Regan’s bitters. Once again, his drink won.

Final Round: Ok, let me remind you- All Souls is a corner bar, not a restaurant. So at this point we had two very delicious, but strong drinks and a small bowl of olives. We could have very easily stopped there but I am a sucker for namesakes and the last cocktail on the menu is named “The All Souls.” How could I resist?! It’s a sparkling Rose with a Maker’s Mark neat. Very pretty and aromatic Rose and it was amazing how the flavors exploded with the combination. But to be honest, I probably didn’t need that last drink… 😉

 

All Souls

All Souls

All Souls

All Souls

All Souls A Corner Bar NW DC

Shaw Cocktail Bar All Souls

C’s Tip: All Souls is the perfect spot to grab some pre-dinner cocktails at a simple but fun bar with a cool vibe. Since they don’t have food menu, you are able to order food to be delivered to the bar OR you can pop around the corner to Haikan for some of the best Ramen in DC. Add a vegetable spicy bomb if you like your Ramen spicy!

All Souls NW DC Bar All Souls Corner Bar

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