Famous Fizz From French Quarter
At the time of his death in 1928, the New Orleans Item said of Henry Charles Ramos, “If all the saloonkeepers in America had been like Mr. Ramos, Prohibition would never have come to pass.”
Indeed, Ramos was a distinguished figure, always flashing a welcoming smile. For many, that would have been enough to endear them to a grateful and thirsty public. But in 1888, at the Imperial Cabinet Saloon on Gravier Street, Henry Ramos became immortalized in his native New Orleans. He took a popular category of cocktails, the fizz, defined by citrus juices and carbonated water, added his own deft touch, and gave the world another quintessential New Orleans concoction.
The Ramos Gin Fizz became an instant classic, and the relationship between the beverage and the patron carried through to Governor Huey Long, who would eventually become U.S. Senator Long. When Long arrived at the New Yorker Hotel in New York in 1935, he was appalled by what they called a Ramos Gin Fizz.
Long summoned Sam Guarino, the esteemed bartender at the Sazerac Bar in the New Orleans Roosevelt Hotel, to travel to New York and teach their bar staff how to properly make the drink. Long told The New York Times, “Let the people of New York consider this my gift to them.”
Ramos Gin Fizz
1 1/4 ounces of Plymouth Gin or Old Tom Gin
1/2 ounce of simple syrup
squeeze of lime
squeeze of lemon
2-3 drops of vanilla
1/2 ounce of orange flower water
2 ounces of half and half
1 egg white
1/2 ounce of club soda
Place all ingredients into shaker, except half and half and club soda. Shake vigorously until well blended, frothy and light.
Add ice and half and half. Shake vigorously again until well chilled. Strain into a Collins-style glass. Top with club soda.
As prepared by Marvin Allen, executive mixologist at The Carousel Bar, Monteleone Hotel