This week's feature is the Ramos Gin Fizz:
As per Imbibe magazine: This New Orleans classic was invented in the 1880s by Henry C. Ramos. Original instructions dictated that it be shaken for a good 12 minutes, requiring a bit of a bartender relay.
More depth on the story (legend?) behind the Ramos Gin Fizz from The Cocktail Chronicles blog:
Ramos debuted this drink at his Imperial Cabinet saloon, located on the corner of Fravier and Carondelet streets in New Orleans, but the drink cemented its reputation at the bar Ramos purchased in 1907, The Stag, opposite the Gravier Street entrance to the St. Charles Hotel. At The Stag, the drink quickly become an emblematic New Orleans cocktail, one that gained particular fame during that city’s legendary festivals. In Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em, Stanley Clisby Arthur writes that at The Stag, “the corps of busy shaker boys behind the bar was one of the sights of the town during Carnival, and in the 1915 Mardi Gras, 35 shaker boys nearly shook their arms off, but were still unable to keep up with the demand.” With a following such as this, it’s not surprising that Ramos kept the recipe for his fizz a closely guarded secret. But legend has it that upon the enactment of Prohibition, Ramos decided to freely distribute his recipe. Perhaps, as Charles H. Baker, Jr., speculates in The Gentleman’s Companion, Ramos did this because he was “thinking that the formula, like any history dealing with the dead arts, should be engraved on the tablets of history;” or, as has also been suggested, Ramos released his recipe as an act of civil disobedience in an effort to subvert the Volstead Act, hoping that the curious masses would seek to sidestep the law in order to create this legendary drink for themselves.
-A fine gin (I prefer Bombay Sapphire)
-Orange Flower Water
Depending on the number of guests depends on how much you prepare for this drink. Gather up a few egg whites (1 white per drink), juice several lemons and limes, and make the 1:1 simple syrup.
For each beverage, combine the following in a cocktail shaker: 2 oz gin, 1 oz heavy cream, 1 egg white, 1/2 oz lime juice, 1/2 oz lemon juice, 3 drops of orange flower water, 1 Tbsp of simple syrup, 1 drop of vanilla extract. Shake without ice, then add cracked ice and shake until your arms want to fall off. Strain into a glass, and then top off with club soda.
Of course the most traditional way to prepare this drink is by shaking the hell out of it in a cocktail shaker (read the stories above). My Mom used to host boozy brunches in Dunwoody back in the '60s and '70s and she would make the base using a blender and then finish the drink off in a champagne flute or Collins glass. That still works, of course. Also - no garnish. I guess if you wanted to pretty it up, use a sterling silver iced tea spoon and maybe a citrus wheel?