The Ramos Gin Fizz is one of those curious drinks that everyone loves but there’s not a bartender alive that won’t roll their eyes if you ask them to make it (especially on a busy night). It may have been around for over a hundred years but its reputation is a bit of a b*tch definitely precedes it.
For almost a century, bartenders around the globe have nearly lost their arms shaking this drink that, if made properly, requires a good hard shake for no less than 12 minutes. Aside from those bartenders that feel the need to improve their biceps, this is a labour of love at best.
Yet, Sydney spirits industry and syrups specialist Jason Crawley, who has just gone back behind the stick with his new bar Enmore-based bar Fortunate Son, wants people to be neither afraid to ask for it or make it themselves.
“In the modern world, people have started to move away from sugary, cream drinks but this drink is one that just goes to show that sugary cream drinks actually can taste exquisite. That’s why it’s on the menu. We’re just not afraid of hard work and we like it,“ said Crawley.
Crawley’s experience with the Ramos Gin Fizz comes from years spent at the big US industry- based drinks festival, Tales of The Cocktail. “It’s so full-on and you drink so many different types of drink, try and do things. Of course, there’s seminars and incredibly world-famous bars, which you just have to go into. And by the time you’ve done, you’ve kind of had a bit of a skinful.
“And then the next day you wake up and you’re like, “Right, can’t really face eating much. So why don’t we just go to this Roosevelt Hotel and have a Ramos Gin Fizz for breakfast?” And it’s such a restorative, you kind of come out of there ready to fight again, sort of thing.
“It’s just one of those drinks where the trade and bartenders and bloggers and all sorts of people in the industry come in and they go, “Oh my God, are you mad to put this drink on the menu?”, but it’s not afraid to take a few risks,” said Crawley.
But Crawley doesn’t have a chain of “shaker men” out the back (as were used at the height of the drink’s popularity to ensure the drink got out in a timely manner), instead, this is a man with a trick up his sleeve.
Crawley utilises a reverse shake technique that reduces the time considerably. “No-one was really deconstructing drinks back then, why would they, they had like 30 or 40 kids right back at the house, shaking this up for them. It’s really only been in the last ten years or so that we’ve been experimenting with new techniques.
“I guess all they were trying to do was create this ambrosial, textural effect, which was just achieved from shaking the drink for long periods of time. So yeah, we don’t have to do that anymore.”
The shaking may have been made easier but Crawley stresses that fresh juice and a good gin are still essential. As he points out the gin needs a “sh*t load of juniper and citrus”.
“And we really wanted people to enjoy this drink because it’s just an absolutely beautiful thing. It’s ambrosia. It’s actually like drinking a gin cloud, it’s beautiful.”
Ramos Gin Fizz
15 ml lemon
15 ml lime
30 ml sugar syrup
60 ml gin (Fortunate Son uses Ford’s Gin)
60 ml cream
30mls egg white
Soda Water to top
Add lemon, lime, sugar syrup, gin, cream and ice to a shaker, then shake as hard as you can for 15 seconds. Strain out the ice and add egg white. The. Shake for at least 45 seconds as hard as you can. Then strain the drink into a nicely chilled glass. Then let sit for 60 seconds. Then spritz with rose water, before adding enough soda water to form a head over the edge of the glass.
Fortunate Son is located at 105 Enmore Rd, Newtown. For more information go to fortunateson.com.au