In time for heat of the summer, and the upcoming Tales of the Cocktail event this July, Ms. Cheryl Charming, bar mistress of the Bourbon O Bar at the iconic Bourbon Orleans hotel of the prestigious New Orleans Hotel Collection has announced the return of the Ramos Gin Fizz to the city.
Henry Carl Ramos originated the now famous drink in 1887 at his Imperial Cabinet Saloon in downtown New Orleans. His concoction was a delight for the steamy days of summer in New Orleans, being a cool and frothy drink that appealed to both men and women. For 33 years, the drink remained a secret recipe, until, on the verge of prohibition, Ramos published his recipe in a New Orleans paper, thinking it would never be served again after Prohibition began. Up until that time, Henry Ramos whose friends knew him as “Carl” employed a line of “shaker boys” who would shake the special drink for two minutes each, then pass it along the line until it was shaken for a minimum of six minutes and as many as twelve. During the 33 years of his bar, Carl served up as many as 5000 of the frothy drinks each week.
After prohibition, the drink became a favorite of Huey P. Long, the irascible Governor and Senator of Louisiana who insisted on bringing a local bartender with him to New York in order to keep himself in “proper” Gin Fizzes while he stopped at New York’s Roosevelt Hotel, now a sister property of the Bourbon Orleans.
Following the demise of Carl Ramos’s bar and the departure of the “shaker boys” in 1919, New Orleans has not seen a proper Gin Fizz made with the full length of shake. Purists often say “You can’t shake a Gin Fizz too much!” In reality, contemporary bartenders frequently eschew the responsibility of making the drink, as it takes them away from more profitable bar duties. A Gin Fizz with a couple of minutes of half-hearted shaking is not a “real” Ramos Gin Fizz!
Now, 96 years later, the Bourbon O Bar – Bourbon Street’s freshest bar, has brought the return of the fully shaken drink that Ramos perfected by importing a specialty Gin Fizz shaker. The double barreled shaking machine replaces the line of “shaker boys” and whips up a frothy mix that holds to the 6 to 12 minute shakes that were Henry Ramos’ trademark.
1 1/2 oz. gin
1 Tbsp. simple syrup (1:1)
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1 fresh egg white
1 oz. heavy cream
3 drops orange flower water
1 oz. club soda, chilled
Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: highball; Garnish: Orange peel
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a shaker without ice and shake vigorously to combine. Add ice to the shaker and shake again for at least 6 to 12 minutes. Strain into a glass, top with club soda and the orange flower water and stir.
The Bourbon O Bar specializes in historic New Orleans cocktails, such as the Sazerac, Mint Julep, Ramos Gin Fizz, Pimm’s Cup, Brandy Milk Punch and others, mixed with the freshest of ingredients and served in a comfortable, upscale atmosphere. Entertainment by blues singer Eudora Evans graces the bar on Wed-Saturday nights from 8pm.