By Richard Middleton:
The Ramos Gin Fizz has a long and illustrious Southern history. Originally known as a “New Orleans Fizz,” this luxurious concoction was created by Henry C. Ramos in New Orleans in the late nineteenth century at the Imperial Cabinet Bar. The drink became so popular that Ramos had to employee dozens of “shaker boys” since the drink had an excessively long preparation time of 12 minutes.
Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long’s fondness for the drink led him to bring Sam Guarino, a bartender from the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, to the New Yorker Hotel in New York City to teach its staff how to make the drink. Long could then enjoy his favorite libation even in “Yankee territory.”
Our fellow bartenders in New Orleans shudder when we tell them that Texans like their Ramos Gin Fizzes with a little more orange sweetness. Over the years Brennan’s of Houston added half an ounce of orange liqueur (Triple Sec, etc.) to the drink.
Brennan’s of Houston was closed for a year & a half after suffering a major fire during Hurricane Ike in 2008. When we reopened on Mardi Gras 2010 (naturally), we tried to go back to the original NOLA recipe. Our faithful guests immediately cried foul so we still make the pre-fire Texas Ramos Gin Fizz.
The “Texas” Ramos Gin Fizz
1.5 oz. Dripping Springs Gin from Dripping Springs, Texas
2 oz. Half & Half
.5 oz. Simple Syrup
2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 large egg white
Dash of Nielson Massey Orange Flower Water (never orange juice)
1 Drop Pure Vanilla Extract
.5 oz. Orange Liqueur (Triple Sec, Cointreau, Combier, Solerno Blood Orange, etc.)
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice & shake like the Devil to make the egg whites frothy. Strain into a chilled rocks glass. Some people like there Ramos topped with club soda, but in Texas we see no reason to “water down” a great drink!
Richard Middleton ~ Drink Daddy at Brennan’s of Houston