Iconic New Orleans Cocktails: The Ramos Gin Fizz

by Allison Alsup on July 9, 2013

in Cocktail Culture, History

Tall, cool, and sporting summer whites: the Ramos Gin Fizz is one of the most iconic New Orleans cocktails. Named after its inventor Henry C. Ramos, owner of the bygone Imperial Cabinet Saloon in downtown New Orleans, Ramos originally called his 1888 cocktail the New Orleans Fizz. The drink proved so popular that Ramos had to employ anywhere from 12 to 20 bartenders just to shake the frothy contents.

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One Classic Deserves Another: A Ramos Gin Fizz at the Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel (Photo courtesy of tumblr.com)

In the 1930s, Fizz fan Governor Huey P. Long went so far as to fly a bartender from the New Orleans’ Roosevelt Hotel to the New Yorker Hotel to teach the New York bartenders how to properly craft the cocktail, so that the governor would never be without his favorite concoction on his visits to Manhattan. Long and the Ramos Gin Fizz were perfect matches: a larger than life persona and, at 12 to 14 ounces, a larger than life cocktail.

That same year the Roosevelt Hotel renamed the New Orleans drink after Ramos and the appellation has stuck ever since. Because the Ramos Gin Fizz requires some time and skill to mix, the drink isn’t one for dive bars. The thirsty travelers’ best bet for an authentic pour remains the Roosevelt Hotel’s swanky New Orleans bar, the art deco Sazerac Bar. (Not surprisingly, it’s also the best place to get a Sazerac.) In addition to the Sazerac Bar, in the French Quarter try Arnaud’s French 75, Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar and Bar Tonique; or Uptown, Cure on Freret Street.

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The delectable Ramos Gin Fizz at the Carousel Bar (Photo by Susan Whelan)

The Sazerac Bar
123 Baronne St (Central Business District)
648-1200

Arnaud’s French 75
813 Bienville (French Quarter)
(504)523-5433

Cure
4905 Freret St  (Uptown)
(504) 302-2357

Carousel Bar
214 Royal Street (French Quarter)
(504) 523-3341

Bar Tonique
820 N. Rampart St (French Quarter)
(504) 324-6045

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One of the best Ramos Gin Fizzes can be found at Bar Tonique! (Photo by Susan Whelan)

Interested in making your own Ramos Gin Fizz at Home?

Consider this Roosevelt Hotel-inspired recipe from Brian Quinn of foodrepublic.com.

Servings: 1 cocktail

Prep Time:
10 to 15 minutes

Ingredients
- 2 oz. gin (London Dry or Old Tom)
- 1 oz. heavy cream
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 egg white
- 3 dashes orange blossom water
- 1 drop vanilla extract (optional)

Directions
Combine ingredients and dry shake for 10 seconds without ice.
Add several small to medium sized ice cubes and shake hard for several minutes. Continue shaking as long as you are able and until you can no longer hear the ice inside. Pour foamy contents into a chilled Collins glass and slowly top with soda to rise the head. A straw is optional, but when placed, it should stand on its own in the center of the drink.

Allison Alsup is the co-author of The French Quarter Drinking Companion to be published September 2013 by Pelican Press

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