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 cocktail2 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
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!