Almost a year ago we did a post on fizzes. For our last drink in that post, we attempted a Ramos Gin Fizz. We’d heard good things about them, but as a rule Christa is not a fan of dairy in her cocktails. Our first attempt did not do much to change her mind. We ended up with the cream almost ending up as a butter float, which was not a welcome addition. We weren’t sure what we had done wrong, but whatever it was, it didn’t make us enamored with this drink.
A month later, we were at Tales of the Cocktail and got to have a Ramos Gin Fizz at the Sazerac Bar in New Orleans. It was delicious; gin, citrus, and floral flavors in a creamy froth. So what the hell did we do wrong? Were they using half-and-half instead of cream? Were they shaking it differently? Inquiring minds wanted to know.
We did some research into the drink, and while we found minor variations, most recipes agreed on the proportions and type of spirit, citrus, and sugar. They varied a bit on the dairy though, recommending from 1/2 oz to 1 oz of either half & half or heavy cream. Maybe that was the difference between success and failure in our attempt? We decided to try 4 different variations, with 1/2 oz half & half, 1/2 oz cream, 1 oz half & half, and 1 oz cream.
Ramos Gin Fizz (our preferred recipe)
- 2 oz gin
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 1 oz cream
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 barspoon orange flower water
- 2 oz soda water
Using a Koriko tin, dry shake all ingredients except soda for ~45 seconds to help emulsify. Add ice and shake hard for a little over a minute. Strain into a glass. Add soda water while stirring. Cheers!
- Nose: Identical for all four. Gin and orange blossom, fairly faint.
1/2 oz Half-and-half
- Palate: Mild lime and lemon to start. Juniper, rose and orange blossom on the mid-palate. Tiny bit of creaminess with citrus astringency on the finish. Flat and disjointed compared to the others. Hint of soapy notes, likely due to the orange blossom water not integrating well. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Light body, dry pithy astringency throughout the drink.
1 oz Half-and-half
- Palate: Slightly better body, less astringency. Finish is creamier with more dairy flavor. Citrus is more punchy. More cohesive. Slightly bitter aftertaste.
1/2 oz heavy cream
- Palate: Heavier body still. Astringency more muted. Bitter aftertaste largely muted. Flavors come in the same sequence, but are clearer and brighter.
1 oz heavy cream
- Palate: Most cohesive and by far the best of the four. Orange blossom is noticeable but not overwhelming. Tastes slightly sweeter, like the fat and the sugar are boosting each other. All other ingredients are present and accounted for, showing up in good balance. Creamy finish, almost no bitterness.
No butter this time??? For efficiency we each mixed up a drink simultaneously so we could have all four ready to go at once. One of us used the Koriko tins and the other a large cobbler shaker. As expected, the Koriko tins produced a better head. It so happens that we shook the 1 oz heavy cream version that we liked the best in the cobbler. We were curious if shaking it in the Koriko tins would cause us to produce butter again – maybe the greater volume was actually a detriment for this drink? One more drink later and we had hands down the best expression of the drink we had produced to date. Smooth, frothy, creamy, and perfectly integrated.
Shaking, lots of shaking.
The 1 full oz of heavy cream and a good shake in the Koriko tins produced our favorite drink. So what was different from our last attempt? This time, we were feeling somewhat less energetic about shaking for 2 full minutes like the original recipe that we found called for. Turns out that may have been our issue before. After only about one minute, the drink was well-blended and frothy, but no butter. Definitely an improvement. Use the tins, but don’t over-use them 😉
There you have it, with a little experimentation we had hit upon the best iteration of the Ramos Gin Fizz. They do require a lot of shaking, but are definitely quite tasty when you unlock the right combination of technique and ingredients.