This has not been a winter in which I have given the seasonality of drinks much thought. There was an initial burst of hot buttered rum and boiled water drinks. It passed around mid December, and I’ve found myself playing with all sorts of fizzes.
Up till this point, I had not paid much attention to fizzes. I passed over them in Imbibe!, reading the section with interest, but not intent on making them. Then causabon found some orange flower water and we were off to the races.
Of course that meant mixing up a Ramos Gin Fizz
Ramos Gin Fizz
1 1/2 oz gin
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz cream or half and half (I use half and half)
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz lime juice
1 egg white
tiny dash of orange flower water (seriously, tiny)
Mix all the ingredients and shake in the shaker until your arms hurt. To rest them, put the ice in. That was your rest. Now, shake until your hands hurt from the cold. Strain into a tall glass or champaign flute. While stirring slowly with a bar spoon, pour in some soda water.
This drink reminds me of the martini. Stay with me here, because that is going to sound a little crazy. What the Ramos Gin Fizz and the Martini share, is that there are many variant recipes (read people making dirty martinis, or using an ounce and a half of creme in the fizz, or putting a table spoon of orange flower water in… you get the idea). Some of the variants might even be tolerable to good, but before you reach perfection, you have to walk by them. If you stray off the path, it is hard to adjust your recipe.
You will never, in my book, make a transcendent martini while pouring olive juice into it. Hell, I don’t even use and olive. Similarly, you will never make a transcendent Ramos Gin Fizz, and they can be transcendent, if you put too much orange flower water into it. Too much creme or orange flower water, and it tastes like you are drinking a smartie flavored push pop. The milk fat can be especially dangerous. It adds body, but quickly makes things too thick.
And here I’ve gone on too long. There will be another fizz post, with less demanding fizzes. The joy of most fizzes is the ease with which they can be made. After the past two weeks playing with them, I’m honestly surprised they aren’t on more bar menus.