Tis’ the season for comfort food. What’s more comforting than a creamy, spiced cocktail with just enough kick to lift those holiday spirits? That’s why I was inspired to whip up this riff on a traditional Ramos Gin Fizz, with a holiday twist. The history of the Ramos Gin Fizz goes back to a New Orleans bar in 1888 owned by a cocktail genius, Ramos.
According to legend, the Gin Fizz cocktail was so popular that Ramos employed roughly 20 people as “shaker men” whose sole purpose was to shake these cocktails all night long. Stanley Arthur writes in New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em that these brave bartenders “nearly shook their arms off.” That’s because back then each glass of this infamous cocktail was shaken between 12 and 20 minutes. Nowadays, most bartenders get away with a one-minute shake, and at home I go for a solid five-minute oval shake. The effort is always worth it because after a couple of minutes you are rewarded with a creamy, piquant cocktail.
The first truly amazing Dreamsicle-inspired Ramos I drank came from the Queen’s Park bar in Birmingham, Alabama. Master Bartender, Laura Newman, included a sweet, supple Dreamsicle Ramos in her encyclopedic cocktail menu of classics, riffs, and completely original beverages. This Ramos kicked off my long love affair with gin fizzes and all things egg white. The nuance to this specific recipe is in the comforting addition of baking spices and an absence of overwhelming sweetness.
Your average flavored Gin Fizz features heavy, cloying syrups that make it more of a milkshake than a cocktail, but the recipe below is balanced enough to be drunk alongside a plate of sugar cookies or Christmas dinner. The addition of cinnamon and nutmeg blend perfectly with the orange overtones from Grand Marnier and lend this creamy drink an approachable complexity. The best part? You won’t be up late making vanilla syrups or squeezing fresh oranges, and you don’t need unique ingredients like orange blossom water. Everything you need for this cocktail should be easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Now let’s get cracking, shaking, and sipping.
Ramos Gin Fizz
Prep Time: 10 min
Makes: 4 servings
- 2 OZ. GIN (TANQUERAY, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, NEW AMSTERDAM)
- .5 OZ. ORANGE LIQUOR (GRAND MARNIER, COINTREAU, TRIPLE SEC)
- .25 – .5 OZ. HONEY, SIMPLE SYRUP, CONFECTIONER’S SUGAR
- JUICE OF ONE LEMON
- 1 FRESH EGG
- 1 BOTTLE OF SODA WATER
- 1 ORANGE (FOR GARNISH)
- 1 CINNAMON STICK (FOR GARNISH)
- A DASH OF NUTMEG
- A SPRINKLE OF VANILLA EXTRACT
- If you pour carefully, the cocktail will come up out of the glass and retain its structure. If you get a little too excited, and it flows over the glass, that’s okay too. It will still be tasty, and you certainly earned it after all that shaking.
- A fresh egg won’t float in cold water. If you are worried about the risks of consuming raw eggs, this will help you tell whether an egg is fresh or not, but it is not a guarantee.
- You can use that egg yolk for a tasty eggnog cocktail — Stay tuned for the Garden & Health’s new take on that classic.