Henry C. Ramos created this gin classic (originally called the New Orleans Fizz) in 1888 at New Orleans’ Imperial Cabinet Saloon, unintentionally condemning bartenders to a lifetime of muscle-testing cocktail shaking. Citrusy and sweet, the real appeal of this cocktail lies in the perfect foam, created by shaking egg whites and cream for minutes at a time. In fact, there’s no better example of the borderline magical, shape-shifting capabilities egg whites possess than this decadently frothy cocktail.
While the Ramos Gin Fizz remains a beloved mainstay, especially in New Orleans (it’s said that The Sazerac Bar inside The Roosevelt New Orleans hotel serves somewhere around 20,000 per year), you might receive a look of exasperation upon ordering this classic in a bar. Even Ramos himself didn’t want to put in the effort it took to make the complicated drink. He hired around two dozen “shaker boys” and created an assembly line of sorts to quickly turn out the refreshments during parades and festivals. The original instructions recommended shaking the cocktail for 12 minutes, but it’ll turn out just fine if you cut that time down (by a lot). The most important thing is thoroughly dry shaking the ingredients without ice to properly emulsify them first. From there, you add ice and shake for a minute more to get the creamy, frothy concoction nice and frosty (no one wants warm egg whites and cream). Make sure your shaker is sealed good and tight before getting down to business because nothing smells worse than egg and milk splatter slowly drying on your clothing.