To truly appreciate the Ramos, you must have a penchant for decadence. “Ginny pillows of orange-blossomed delight” pretty much sums up this cocktail, which might be described as a gin milkshake.
Trust me, it’s way better than I just made it sound.
First mixed back in 1888, this is not a drink for the lazy bartender or the lactose-intolerant barfly. Once upon a time it was known as the New Orleans Fizz. Its name changed to commemorate its creator, Henry Ramos, but its identity is forever tied to its city of origin.
Not only is it packed with calories, but it traditionally requires a hell of a lot of time and energy to mix, too. The laborious old-school approach involves shaking a Ramos (hard!) for over 10 minutes (what?!) until it hits the ideal meringue-like consistency.
In its heyday, to quench demand, its (clearly masochistic) inventor was forced to hire hordes of “shaker boys” for his production line.
So throw on a tank top and break out the guns, because preparing a legit Ramos is a proper workout. If you mix enough of them (provided you’re not the sole consumer), you’ll actually need its floral fattiness to summon the strength to carry on. If you’re feeling a little tired, just leave it to the professionals.
At Cocktail Bar (923 Dundas West, 416-792-7511, hoofcocktailbar.com) they’re too smart (and busy) to stick to tradition. CB’s Ramos is blended to perfect form in a fraction of the time it’d normally take. Otherwise, the recipe is the original: gin, cream, egg white, fresh lemon and lime, simple syrup and orange blossom water with a splash of soda ($13).
Newly opened Fat City Blues (890 College, 647-345-8282, fatcityblues.com) offers five NOLA classics, including the Ramos Gin Fizz ($13). If the bartenders start to look tired, give them a hand when it comes to shaking duties.
Hit weekend brunch at Geraldine (1564 Queen West, 647-352-8815, geraldinetoronto.com) and soothe your soul with a Ramos ($10) or two. Who can’t get down with a gin milkshake in the morning?
The bartenders at Civil Liberties (878 Bloor West, 416-546-5634, civillibertiesbar.com) love making frothy gin fizzes ($13). Really, they love it. They’ll even let you help shake if you ask nicely.
But if you want to shake it up for yourself, here’s a recipe.
1½ oz gin
1 oz heavy cream
1 oz simple syrup (1:1)
½ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz fresh lime juice
1 fresh egg white
3 drops orange blossom water (tread carefully)
About 1 oz soda water
Shake first seven ingredients hard without ice. Add a few cubes of ice and shake until your arms fall off or until ice is no longer clinking around inside the shaker. Pour the soda water into a tall glass with no ice and strain the cocktail on top. The foam should be so stiff that a straw stands freely in the middle.