I’ve never been one for morning cocktails. Ignoring the potential issues drinking before you need to work or perform some kind of task, and the social stigma stemming from the alcohol dependency drinking early in the day suggests, I just don’t see the appeal most of the time. If I’m hung over I usually just want to sleep, and otherwise a cold glass of fruit juice suits me just fine.
However earlier in the year, surrounded by the excesses of Tales of the Cocktail, I developed a great love for a famous New Orleans breakfast cocktail, the Ramos Gin Fizz. Created in the 1880s by Henry C. Ramos the drink was so popular Huey P. Long, the governor of Louisiana, had the bartender of the New Orleans Roosevelt hotel travel up to the New York Roosevelt to train the staff how to make the Ramos Gin Fizz. I’m definitely with Mr Long here.
It was a drink I had tried only once before, though for some reason that one was entirely unremarkable and I never got around to making another. However under the misty haze of a hangover during a session I remember as being very early in the morning, but after looking back in my diary I see was actually at 2:30 (which says a lot about my relationship with the morning), I enjoyed a wonderful Ramos Gin Fizz and began to see the potential benefits of an early drink once in a while.
Ramos Gin Fizz
- 2 shots / 60 ml / 2 oz Old Tom gin
- 1 shot / 30 ml / 1 oz cream
- ½ shot / 15 ml / ½ oz lemon juice
- ½ shot / 15 ml / ½ oz lime juice
- 1 egg white
- 1 bar-spoon sugar
- 3 dashes orange flower water
- Shake all ingredients hard, first without ice, then with ice. Strain in to a tall glass and top off with soda water.
A beautiful mix of gin, citrus, fruit and creaminess, the Ramos Gin Fizz is one of those cocktails that just works. A nice floral Old Tom gin like the Both’s Old Tom is my favourite for this cocktail but a softer dry gin like Plymouth or Beefeater works perfectly well too, though you may want to add a touch more sugar.
The effort required to shake it up enough to produce a good head of froth can be a little frustrating, especially in the morning, but it’s more than worth it. I still rarely drink in the morning, but on certain special occasions it can be a nice treat and tomorrow while I open my Christmas presents I know what I am going to be sipping on…
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