Does this Mardi Gras make my Tuesday look fat?
HAPPY MARDI GRAS! FAT TUESDAY! Is there a more eclectic beloved American city than New Orleans? I vote no. I’ve had a love affair with Louisiana since my two year stint there as a little girl where I drawled my first sentence – “This is ma howme momma” and my healthy (???) obsession with Steel Magnolias, Hope Floats, and Harry Connick Jr.
At the end of the 1800s the bushy-moustached Henry C. Ramos, mixoligist and principled bar owner extraordinaire created this brilliant fizz at his Imperial Cabinet Saloon off Canal street, where they hired shaker boys to give the drink it’s required two minute shake. The drink was a New Orleans staple and a must-do on tourist lists. Then came Prohibition, and Ramos gave the newspapers his secret recipe, famously poured his last fizz, and closed his saloon doors.
When booze was back in business, so too was this lovely drink. Bartenders everywhere scrambled to learn how to whip this fluffy joy into a glass.
I will share the original newspaper recipe post verbatim, in honor of the great HC Ramos, and then I’ll show you my twist.
“That delightful old gentleman, Henry C. Ramos, whose palace de
palate, coarsely called a bar, was known before July of 1919 to every real connoisseur of drinks in the civilized world, has consented to
publish for the first time his formula for the ‘ONE AND ONLY ONE,’
Otherwise and more commonly named RAMOS’ ORIGINAL GIN FIZZ.”
Here is his recipe, verbatim:
“(1) One tablespoonful powdered sugar.
Three or four drops of Orange Flower Water.
One-half lime (Juice).
One-half lemon (Juice).
(1) One Jigger of Old Tom Gin. (Old Gordon may be used but a sweet gin is preferable).
The white of one egg.
One-half glass of crushed ice.
About (2) tablespoonsful of rich milk or cream.
A little Seltzer water (about an ounce) to make it pungent.
Together well shaken and strained (drink freely).
It’s pleasant to make…yes, you can skip the egg if you’re scared or use powdered egg (the method at a bar)…
I punched a little hole in an egg to drain the egg white out into a bowl.
Fill shaker with ice… Two solid shots of gin. Two solid shots of Chambord. One shot of heavy cream. Four tablespoons of simple syrup. Squeeze half a lime. Dump that egg white in aaannnnd SHAKE THE SHIT OUT OF IT.
Vigorous shake. Dance around a little. Play some jazz.
….. OK you’re done.
Strain the silky mixture into a high ball or pint or a ball jar or a Go-cup with Lagniappe… Any damn glass you want, it’s Mardi Gras…just enjoy.
You should leave an inch at the top clear to fill with club soda. (NOT TONIC. NO. NONONO) It will Fizz! This is good. It should be a petal pink frothy foamy pouf of delicate lovely imbibery. Now shave some lime on top, pop a loopy straw in there and drink it down!
You’ve just enjoyed an American classic.
Warning…this drink was “not of interest to ladies”…so, obviously all my girls may want to have a couple of these bad boys. 😉
Laissez les bon temps rouler!