The “Fizz” cocktail family contains a few classic hits, but it’s number one pick has always been the original Gin Fizz (Ramos came later). Considerably one of the oldest cocktails in history, the Gin Fizz recipe we provided you with is definitely for the 21st century, many varieties exist. However, it’s always been a light, refreshing, easy to make cocktail, whose story deserves to be told.
This drink is for the gin lovers, it’s made to highlight the spirit and the spirit alone. So, please do use a quality gin if you decide to make it after reading this. Whatever citrus you decide to use, that’s the only other note your palate is going to notice, though we recommend lime or lemon. If you choose lime, pair it with a dry gin, and if you pick lemon use a gin that has lighter juniper tones.
The reason we included the egg white is that technically without it, the drink is a Gin Rickey. Plus, it gives the drink an extra layer of texture, but if you’re vegan go for aquafaba to get the same results. The strength of the drink all depends on the kind of gin you use.
The Gin Fizz has many relatives and even without switching out the gin, it has many variables. For example, if you use the entire egg vs just the egg white it’s called the Royal Fizz. A Golden Fizz switches out the egg whites for the egg yolk, which costs you the foam but you get an egg flavor added to your gin (if you’re into that sort of thing.) In a Diamond Fizz, you use sparkling wine instead of soda. Want some color in that? If you use Sloe Gin and grapefruit soda you get a Purple Fizz (AKA Sloe Gin Fizz), and if you add creme de menthe that’s a Green Fizz.
The Gin Fizz also has many cousins like the famous Ramos Gin Fizz, Japanese Fizz, Chicago Fizz, and many many many more. The recipe is ancient and has been updated with modern inventions, such as the switch from seltzer to club soda, modern refrigeration, and of course the constantly changing landscape of cocktail culture itself.
Due to the fact long ago we covered the history of Gin, we thought it appropriate to tell you the story behind the Fizz family and gin cocktails in general, what we did find about the Gin Fizz specifically was the fact that no one knows which gin was used in the original recipe.
The first bloom of cocktail culture came right before the turn of the century during the late 1800s, and New Orleans was a different kind of party than today.
The first mention of the Fizz cocktail is found in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas’ book, “Bartender’s Guide.” By then, Gin had already become a popular base of many cocktails such as the Tom Collins, Martini, and the Gimlet.
We probably don’t know much about the Gin Fizz because it didn’t make the splash the Ramos Gin Fizz made in 1888 New Orleans. The Ramos Gin Fizz made history back then and in the early 1900’s it’s many variations followed.
Right before prohibition took over, bartenders knew nearly 12 different versions of the Gin Fizz. Around 1910 at the Hotel Belmont, on 42nd Street in Manhattan, the Diamond Fizz was born, but it was considered a lethal recipe thanks to the use of Champagne.
After the Volstead Act repealed prohibition, the drink became just as popular in Europe and throughout the states. It is quite literally an international wonder, and you can do so much with it.
So, with many variations and stories, we fast forward to this day in age where you can find Gin Fizz’s with everything from matcha to fresh fruits and subbing the egg white for cream.
The original Gin Fizz recipe instructions say you must shake the cocktail for 12 minutes.
Henry Ramos must have had great arms.
If you’re going to have any Gin Fizz, we recommend the Ramos Gin Fizz, not only because it is my last name, but because it’s historic. Simple as that. So, next time you’re at the bar, try one out and toast to Henry Ramos.
Thanks for reading, and as always…