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Nov 22, 2011 03:39 PM

Ramos Fizz Question

I made a bunch of Ramos Fizz's Saturday with some other people that feel somewhat knowledgable about drinks and we basically sucked at them. Anyone else had this problem?

I've been lucky enough to lunch at Galatoire's and drink a Ramoz Fizz that seemed terrific...maybe that was just a "time and place" thing. What we made tasted like poo. So I know this drink can be good. But what voodoo did they use?

We went by Wondrich's recipe to start and at best, when we really nailed it, it tasted like nothing. Literally. It felt like playing Keno and trying to get no numbers correct. There was no gin (or botanicals), no citrus, no hint of was like drinking the most neutral thing imaginable. If it had one thing, the froth from the egg whites and heavy cream was present, but that just ended up making the whole thing a textural oddity lacking flavor. An improbable alchemy to be sure and it did sort of feel like a victory to make such a perfectly balanced cocktail as to lack all evidence of flavor, but who wants to drink that?

Since this is a nuanced question, I'll explain what we used. Or at least how we started.

Gin, 2 oz.: Tanqueray

Heavy Cream, 1 oz: Knudsen

Egg Whites, 1 egg white per cocktail

Lime and Lemon juice, freshly squeezed, about a half ounce each per cocktail

Superfine sugar, a couple teaspoons per cocktail

Orange Flower Water, 3-5 dashes: Fee's.

Shaken with ice for a good minute plus and then put in a collins glass

Topped with soda from a SodaStream.

After the first few, we started to get antsy and began going, not really off the grid, but in a lot of different directions. We did everything. More gin, less gin, no lime, more lemon, powdered suger, confectioners sugar, table sugar, no cream, some cream, less egg-whites...most ended up being worse.

We landed on a belief that the classic Gin Fizz is far superior to the Ramos Fizz. But that just seems so wrong at so many levels.

If anyone else can help light my path to a great Ramos Fizz that doesn't require a trip to N.O., please let me know. Otherwise, this might be one I have to leave to the experts in the Big Easy.

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  1. I'm at a loss. That looks like the typical recipe. The only thing I can think of is if you used too much soda water? Plus, I've never used SodaStream - just Canada Dry or Seagram's - so I don't know if that would matter. I think I go a little heavier on the lemon/lime juice than the recipe but other than that, it looks right to me.

    We have a "Ramos Fizz-Off" every year on New Year's Day where the recipes get really altered but it's my favorite party of the year. The one substituting ice cream for most of the cream and sugar is the most popular (I hear the gasps of traditionalists right now). We also usually use blenders rather than shakers - though we've done both ways.

    I personally also use the most aromatic gin I can find...

    8 Replies
    1. re: Sushiqueen36

      Good call on the soda. However, and why this is so vexing, we tasted along the way with all versions before the soda was even added. There are a couple of us who have stood behind a bar...also part of what kills us about this.

      I don't think the SodaStream has much to do with it though I could be wrong. If you aren't familiar and drink a lot of bubble water, check it out. It's kind of awesome for home use unless you have a gun. I mean a soda gun, ;), in your kitchen.

      Moreover, personally, I love the idea of using ice cream to subsitute for the sweet/cream component, that sounds delicious.

      What gin is your "go to?"

      1. re: ellaystingray

        We love gin so are always buying something different. If we can't decide and just want a basic, my husband likes Beefeaters or Tanqueray.

        Our absolute favorite is made by a local distiller - Ransom Spirits "Old Tom Gin". It's extremely herbal and has a gold hue - almost like rum in color. We don't use it as our everyday gin but it makes an amazing cocktail. I highly recommend it if you can find it. They also make a nice "normal" gin that we like.

        1. re: ellaystingray

          ...and I've been thinking about a SodaStream - pretty intrigued by the idea. Can you make your own flavored soda? Like if I want to make a rosemary soda (not saying I do - it's just what came to mind) - can I do that? If I have to stick with their syrups and flavorings, I think it would just collect dust...

          1. re: Sushiqueen36

            We use it for making unflavored soda, about a bottle a day. Works great.

            The instructions say to flavor the liquid after it's carbonated. I suspect this is to keep sugar out of the nozzle that injects the gas. If you kept sugar out of it and wiped off the nozzle, I bet it would be fine. You obviously don't want microbes, mold, etc growing on the mechanism.

            The ample supply of soda means that I always have fresh soda on hand, without buying little bottles and a lot of waste. You can "top off" the carbonation on a bottle that as started to go flat.

            One of our better purchases.

            As for the fizz, a Ransom Ramos would be something. Not sure if it would be a good sometime, but it seems like it would be worth trying.

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            1. re: EvergreenDan

              Warning, I'm going off topic here, but i hear that Tonic(quinine) water is one of the flavors. Have you happened to try it? If so, how does it compare to popular brands?

              1. re: TroyTempest

                I haven't used any of their syrups. I plan to get the Bittermen's Commonweath Tonic Liqueur when it becomes available in MA.


                The idea of making my own tonic water with a quality syrup/liqueur appeals to me very much. I had intended to make my own tonic syrup, but I never got around to ordering the ingredients.

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                1. re: TroyTempest

                  I've got a Soda Stream and I love it too. It's definately fizzy and if you use super cold water, you can make it extra extra carbonated. You control the fizz by controlling how many times you hit the button.

                  I'm not a huge fan of the syrups they sell, but Williams Sonoma has a nice cola flavored syrup and I've added the plain soda to ginger syrups I made and unsweetened cranberry juice for fun sodas.

                2. re: EvergreenDan

                  I have made the Ransom Ramos and it went over big at our party. We do like the fizzes to be limey and herbal though.

                  One more SodaStream question - does the soda get really fizzy? I like fizzy...

          2. I love Ramos Gin Fizzes and have made some blah ones (I know what you're talking about) and great ones. Here's the recipe we ended up sticking with from "Art of the Bar". Compared to yours, it has less gin, more sour and no soda water.

            1 T powdered sugar
            3 to 4 drops orange flower water (I add a bit more and use Cortas brand)
            3/4 oz lime juice
            1 oz gin (I use Hendrick's)
            1 egg white
            1 oz cream
            Crushed ice
            Freshly grated nutmeg to dust on top

            I first do a dry shake, add the ice and then pass the shaker around so we're at it for about 5 minutes.

            1. One trick is to add most of the soda water to the glass before straining the drink. It will make it lighter and fluffier (saves shaking time). Next, add a little extra soda water to the ice in the shaker tin. Give a quick swirl and strain again and this will provide extra foam to fill up the glass. Adding it afterward makes the incorporation of bubbles more troublesome.

              One problem is that your drink with 2oz gin 1 oz cream 1 oz lemon+lime = 4 oz and that is pushing the limits of most egg whites (I find 3 oz to be great, but there are aspects that promote the frothing like acid and aspects that inhibit it like sugar, so there is no clear answer). Definitely more egg whites would be preferable to less.

              Tanqueray isn't my favorite mixing gin. Also, it will be very prominent in a Ramos. Hayman's Old Tom, Plymouth, and other lighter styles might work better. Remember, this is supposed to be a gentle brunch drink to have after a night of drinking has wrecked your stomach a bit.

              And for the sugar, I would recommend mixing it in with the juice before adding booze and ice.

              If I knew what went wrong with your Ramos, I could give better pointers. Another delicious variation is adding a little bit of vanilla extract (1/2 tsp to 1 tsp). Citrus garnish also pays off. Orange twists work well especially with the orange blossom water, but I have had them with freshly cut lemon wheels which are quite aromatic.


              7 Replies
              1. re: yarm

                Good stuff yarm. Tomorrow is the next science experiment and we'll be even better prepared with some Old Tom and likely three or four other gins. We also have some other orange flower water coming...but one person isn't a "drinks" gal and I am afraid it might be body lotion. Anyway, we'll also pay close attention to the "egg-white-to-liquid" ratios as that does strike a chord with a few a of us. I'll keep you all updated.

                1. re: ellaystingray

                  Also, go light on the orange blossom water -- the stuff is potent and can have some off and bitter flavors in higher concentrations. Measuring it in drops instead of dashes might be better, or cutting it down to a small dash. To add in the orange flavor, you could also omit it and just add orange notes from a wide orange peel twisted over the top (or a long thin twist curled around and around).

                  1. re: yarm

                    Having met the man in person, I was going by Wondrich's strict orders NOT to try and substitute the orange flavor. However, nothing is off the table at this point. Drops vs. "dashes" sounds wise but we got to 3-5 becuase we couldn't identify it in the drink at all. Removing it, in our straight up Gin Fizz's didn't seem to have an effect either way.

                    So, next question for those who even care about this level of cocktail specificity. We were using Fee Brother's. I like them. Wouldn't take a bullit for them, but think they are good. But, long long ago, in a bar far far away, Orange Flower Water used to come in a little blue bottle (before Cobalt blue bottles were all the rage) from a brand called, I think, something like Montrauex. Can this possibly be the rosetta stone to a good Ramos Fizz?

                    1. re: ellaystingray

                      No, it's not the rosetta stone. As I mentioned above, I make a very good Ramos Gin Fizz and I use Cortas brand.

                      1. re: ellaystingray

                        If you couldn't identify it at all at 5 dashes (although how big are your dashes?), then there's a problem with either your orange blossom water or your palate since the stuff should be potent. A list of some of the orange blossom water range from 2-3 drops in Arthur to 5 drops in Washburne (both are New Orleans-based). Our orange blossom water is Cedar brand from an Indian spice shop.

                        1. re: ellaystingray

                          Th OFW we use is A.Monteux from France. I have no idea how long we've had the bottle (or where we bought it) since we use so little and just once a year really. Haven't ever tried another brand so can't comment on whether this is the "rosetta stone" or not.

                          1. re: ellaystingray

                            To add to an old thread. Fee's Orange Blossom water is very weak.

                    2. Have you tried doing a dry shake first then adding ice and shaking.