Ramos Gin Fizz
The Ramos Gin Fizz, aka Ramos Fizz or New Orleans Fizz, is a cocktail which consists of gin, cream, egg white, soda water, orange flower water, fresh lemon juice, fresh lime juice, and sugar (or simple syrup). It is meant as a breakfast drink.
As a fizz, it is served in a collins glass with no ice.
Some bartenders add a drop or two of vanilla extract.
Ramos Gin Fizz History
"Invented in the 1880s by Henry C. Ramos, in his bar at Meyer's Restaurant, this is one of New Orleans' most famous drinks. The secret of its flavor and texture is orange flower water and egg whites." - Gumbopages.
According to David Herpin
There are many stories surrounding this drink, most, if not all are not true. One of the most popular stories is this drink was invented by Henry Ramos at his own bar in 1888. Well, the numbers don't add up and there is no recorded history of anyone named henry Ramos working in the field at the time. Here is an early printing of the drink:
Hotel & Motel Red Book by American Hotel & Motel Association in 1886
"Elegant Garden Dining Room. Outside dining in the Garden Patio. Fashion Show Luncheons. Ramos Fizz Brunch, Sundays. The Armory Bar: intimate old-world atmosphere. "
Here is an early printing of Armory Hall:
Theatrical management in the West and South for thirty years - Page 49 by Solomon Smith in 1868
"The foundation of the American Theatre, Camp Street (now the Armory Hall), was laid in 1821, and it was opened"
After much research it is still undetermined where and what the name of the establishment Ramos was the proprietor of. Early sources all point in different directions. As seen above it might have been The Armory Bar, at Armory Hall on Camp Street. This was the largest concert hall in the city, although many addresses were held their, not many concerts.
Another sources claim it was the Imperial Saloon, which was extravagant to say the least and also had an attached Bar as seen here:
An autumn near the Rhine; or, Sketches of courts, society, scenery ... - Page 83 by Charles Edward Dodd in 1821 "IMPERIAL SALOON."
This establishment has no address associated with it. Although there is early literature suggesting where he worked:
United States Supreme Court records and briefs By United States. Supreme Court in 1899
"Q. Can you tell the police where to find him ? A. If you go to the corner of Bienville and Marais, Mr. Ramos may give you the address where he lives"
This early 20th century source claims it was:
N.A.R.D. journal: Volume 56 in 1934
"There's the famous Roosevelt bar, serving the equally famous Ramos' Gin Fizz and many other typical Southern drinks of world renown ; the Fountain Room, with its Creole breakfast, dinner and supper, served to the tune of soothing music."
But there seems to be a logical explanation for this, the bar was demolished:
The Mardi Gras mystery - Page 146 by Henry Bedford-Jones in 1921
"By the way, I've been looking up a New Orleans landmark without much success — the Ramos gin fizz establishment. It seems to be gone!" "It is," returned Maillard, sourly. "Prohibition killed it, like it's killing everything."
So it appears The Ramos Saloon was an establishment, possibly attached to another establishment on the corner of Bienville and Marais, which as of 1920 was demolished. There is a very large contraversy over the contents of this drink, however it is import to note, that one of the earliest recipes does not call for Vanilla extract, this at the time would have been known as an "Eagles Fizz".
This drink dates between 1885 - 1886 and contained at least as of then:
Shake these ingredients vigorously for at least several minutes:
Old Tom Gin
Orange Flower Water
Fresh Lemon Juice
Strain into a "fizz" glass without ice, Add charged soda.
Time Magazine, 1st October 1928
"Died. Henry Charles ("Carl") Ramos, 72, veteran New Orleans saloonkeeper, inventor of the famed, much-imitated Ramos gin fizz;* in New Orleans."
"*Fizzmaker Ramos' recipe: 1 tablespoonful powdered sugar; 3 or 4 drops of orange flower water; juice of one-half lime; juice of one-half lemon; one jigger of Old Tom gin (Old Gordon alternative, but sweet gin preferable); white of one egg; one-half glass of crushed ice; 2 tablespoonfuls of rich milk or cream; an ounce of seltzer for pungency; shake till milklike in air-tight shaker and strain."
The Ideal Bartender, by Tom Bullock, 1917
RAMOS GIN FIZZ--Country Club Style
- 1 lump Ice.
- 1 dash Lemon Juice.
- 1 dash Orange Water.
- White of Egg.
- 1 jigger Burnette's Old Tom Gin.
- 1 teaspoonful Powdered Sugar.
- 1 pony Milk.
- 1 dash Seltzer Water.
- Shake well; strain into Highball glass and serve.