The Ramos is a complicated drink to get right, and it's not one to make if you are in a hurry. It relies on a lot of shaking and the hard shake (without ice), then opening up the shaker and then doing it properly with cubes is essential to get the voluminous, light and airy feel to the drink. If you get it right, it's like drinking a cloud. If you don't it's not an easy cocktail to even finish…
Eggs, cream, citrus and extracts make for a complex drink already, keep the gin classic.
Be careful about how you pour the sparkling water in. If you add it in gently, you can raise the entire foam centimetres higher than the rim of the glass!
You'll need a straw for this one. Plan ahead and get an eco paper one or a reusable metal one and spare the planet of more plastic waste.
An abridged, inebriated history:
Originally called The New Orleans Fizz, this cocktail became so popular after its creation in 1888 that it took on the name of its creator – Henry C. Ramos of NOLA’s Imperial Cabinet Bar. Ramos eventually opened up another bar – The Stag, where his drink’s reputation really grew, solidifying its place in cocktail history.
Legend tells that the Ramos Gin Fizz was so popular that Ramos’s bar needed at least 20 bartenders working solely on the cocktail. Later, during Mardi Gras in 1915, 35 bartender’s were employed. According to Stanley Arthur in New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix ‘Em the bar staff “nearly shook their arms off, and were still unable to keep up with the demand.”
Henry held the recipe for his iconic cocktail close to his chest and history remains divided on whether or not he did eventually share it before he died. Charles H. Baker Jr., writing in The Gentleman’s Companion, shared his belief that Henry did liberate his recipe, “thinking that the formula, like any history dealing with the dead arts, should be engraved on the tablets of history.”
The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans trademarked the drink’s name in 1935, and helped to extend the drinks popularity far beyond the confines of NOLA. The spread was also helped by Louisiana governor Huey P. Long, who brought one of his bartender’s to the New Yorker Hotel to show the staff their how to make his favourite drink so he’d have easy access to it whenever he stayed in New York.