This one is for my uncle Dale. For the past several years, I have worked on Christmas Eve, then celebrated with good friends and good Champagne. The following morning, I have dragged myself from the comfort of bed into the early cold and driven to my Aunt Sue’s house in Sacramento on Christmas morning. There, I’m greeted not only with hugs and smiles, but also a tall, frothy Ramos Gin Fizz made by Dale. The delightful combination of tart citrus and rich cream get my taste buds primed for breakfast, and the gin eases me into the happy chaos of Christmas with the family. It’s probably not the most traditional of traditions, but neither is our family gathering, and that’s partly what I love about it. Now, when the light gets low and the days are short, I find myself craving not a Hot Toddy but a Gin Fizz…
The Ramos Gin Fizz is one of the most famous cocktails to come out of New Orleans. The use of egg white in the cocktail creates a luscious, creamy texture when shaken, while the orange blossom water adds a beautiful bouquet. It’s traditionally considered a brunch cocktail, although served at a dinner party in a coupe and with a garnish it makes quite an impression. I typically garnish the cocktail with grated nutmeg, which makes it even more seasonally celebratory, although it’s not traditional. Some recipes will also call for vanilla extract, which I don’t use, but adds another tasty layer.
Regardless of recipes and ratios, there are a few things that you must consider when making a Ramos Gin Fizz. First, whenever you make a cocktail with egg white, it is important to dry shake all of the ingredients without ice first, before shaking with the ice. Dry shaking helps to emulsify the egg white with the gin and citrus, and will result in a more creamy and frothy beverage. And second, orange blossom water is very potent; try making the first one with 3 drops and, if you like the flavor, add another drop or two to the next round. As always, play around with the recipe and make it yours.
So here’s to the season, our families and our traditions, whatever they may be. Cheers.
Ramos Gin Fizz
2 oz. St. George Botanivore Gin
.75 oz Heavy Cream
.75 oz Simple Syrup
.5 oz. Lime Juice
.5 oz. Lemon Juice
3-5 drops Orange Blossom Water
1 Egg White
Dry-Shake, then shake with ice, and strain into a chilled Collins glass. Top with 1 oz. club soda. Garnish with grated nutmeg.