The Ramos Gin Fizz was created in New Orleans in 1888 by Henry Ramos. Years later at the height of its popularity, the Imperial Cabinet Saloon reportedly hired dozens of "shaker boys" whose only job was to give this cocktail the vigorous shake it requires.
The drink contains both cream and an egg white that must be emulsified by shaking. The cocktail becomes very thick and frothy when properly shaken, but is then lightened with a splash of soda water in the glass. With a base of gin and citrus juices, it has a surprisingly juicy zing and is more refreshing than any other cream drink I can think of. In New Orleans they still consider this a breakfast drink.
Ramos Gin Fizz
2 fl. oz. Gin
3 dashes Orange Flower Water
1 fl. oz. Lemon Juice
.25 fl. oz. Lime Juice
1 Egg White
1 fl. oz. Cream or Half & Half
1 tsp. Sugar
Fill a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Shake vigorously for more than a minute (It's hard work!), then strain the drink into a fizz glass (a juice glass) and top off with just an ounce or so of soda water. Feel free to play around with the ratio of lemon to lime juice to create the perfect fit for your palate.
Recently I tried a variation of this cocktail so good that it won an international cocktail contest, the first annual Bacardi Global Legacy Cocktail Competition held in Barcelona. The goal of the contest was to create a cocktail worthy of standing the test of time.
The French contestant and ultimate winner, Marc Bonneton of Lyon, France, made a simple twist on the Ramos Gin Fizz called Marco's Bacardi Fizz. He replaced the dry gin with creamy Bacardi rum, the floral orange flower water with the more herbaceous Chartreuse liqueur, and added a mint sprig garnish.
I can't tell you if this version will stand the test of time along with the Ramos Gin Fizz, but I can say it's worth a try.
I've left the original metric units for accuracy, and converted them to approximate fluid ounces, so some adjustment may be neccesary.
Marco's Bacardi Fizz, by Marc Bonneton
50ml (1.75 fl. oz.) Bacardi Superior rum
40ml (1.5 fl. oz.) Cream
15ml (.5 fl. oz.) Green Chartreuse
15ml (.5 fl. oz.) Lemon Juice
15ml (.5 fl. oz.) Lime Juice
15ml (.5 fl. oz.) Simple Syrup
1 egg white
Top with soda water
Mint sprig for garnish
Dry-shake the egg white in a shaker with no ice, then add all the other ingredients and ice and shake for a long time to emulsify to egg white and the cream. Fine-strain into a tall glass and top with soda water. Garnish with a sprig of mint.