Fizz (cocktail)

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Type Cocktail family
Alcohol common in this class of cocktail

A Fizz is a type of mixed drink—a variation on the older Sours family. The defining features of the fizz are an acidic juice (such as lemon or lime juice) and carbonated water.


The first printed reference to a fizz (spelled "fiz") is in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas' Bartender's Guide, which contains six fizz recipes. The Fizz became widely popular in America between 1900 and the 1940s. Known as a hometown specialty of New Orleans, the Gin Fizz was so popular that bars would employ scrums of bartenders working in teams that would take turns shaking the fizzes. Demand for fizzes went international as evidenced by the inclusion of the cocktail in the French cookbook L'Art Culinaire Francais published in 1950.[1]

Gin Fizz[edit]

Gin Fizz
IBA Official Cocktail
Type Cocktail
Primary alcohol by volume
Served On the rocks; poured over ice
Standard drinkware
Highball Glass (Tumbler).svg
Highball glass
IBA specified ingredients*

A Gin Fizz is the best-known cocktail in the Fizz family. A Gin Fizz contains gin, lemon juice, sugar, and carbonated water, served in a tumbler with two ice cubes.[2] The drink is similar to a Tom Collins, the difference, contrary to common belief, being that a Tom Collins historically used "Old Tom Gin" (a sweetened version of, and precursor to, London Dry Gin), whereas the kind of gin historically used in a Gin Fizz is unknown.[3]

Simple variations on the gin fizz are

  • Silver Fizz — addition of egg white
  • Golden Fizz — addition of egg yolk
  • Royal Fizz — addition of whole egg
  • Diamond Fizzsparkling wine instead of carbonated water. More commonly known as a French 75
  • Green Fizz — addition of a dash of green crème de menthe

Ramos Gin Fizz[edit]

Ramos Fizz
IBA Official Cocktail
Ramos Gin Fizz at the Sazerac Bar, Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans
Type Cocktail
Primary alcohol by volume
Served Straight up; without ice
Standard drinkware
Collins Glass.gif
Collins glass
IBA specified ingredients*
  • 4.5cl gin
  • 1.5 lime juice
  • 1.5 fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5cl simple syrup
  • 6cl cream
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 dashes Orange flower water
  • 2 drops Vanilla extract
  • Soda water
Notes Pour all ingredients except soda in a mixing glass, dry shake (no ice) for two minutes, add ice and hard shake for another minute.

Strain into a highball glass without ice, top with soda.

A Ramos gin fizz (also known as a Ramos fizz or New Orleans fizz) contains gin, lemon juice, lime juice, egg white, sugar, cream, orange flower water, and soda water. It is served in a large glass, such as a Zombie glass (a non-tapered 12 to 14 ounce glass).

The orange flower water and egg significantly affect the flavor and texture of a Ramos, compared to a regular Gin Fizz. As Cleveland bar chef Everest Curley points out "a big key to making egg cocktails is not to use ice at first; the sugar acts as an emulsifier, while it and the alcohol 'cooks' the egg white."[4] Even so, many bartenders today use powdered egg white because of the possible health risks associated with consuming raw eggs.

Henry C. Ramos invented the Ramos gin fizz in 1888 at his bar, the Imperial Cabinet Saloon on Gravier Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. It was originally called the New Orleans Fizz, and is one of the city's most famous cocktails. Before Prohibition, the bar was known to have over 20 bartenders working at once, making nothing but the Ramos Gin Fizz - and still struggling to keep up with the demand. During the carnival of 1915, 32 staff were on at once, just to shake the drink. The drink's long mixing time (12 minutes) made it a very time consuming cocktail to produce.[5]

The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans also popularized the drink, as did governor Huey Long's fondness for it. In July 1935, Long brought a bartender named Sam Guarino from the Roosevelt Hotel to the New Yorker Hotel in New York City to show the staff there how to make the drink, so he could have it whenever he was there. The Museum of the American Cocktail has newsreel footage of this event. The Roosevelt Hotel group trademarked the drink name in 1935 and still makes it today.

Sloe Gin Fizz[edit]

Sloe Gin Fizz
Type Cocktail

A Sloe Gin Fizz contains sloe gin (a blackthorn plum flavored spirit), lemon juice, sugar, egg white, and carbonated water. A more common variant of a Sloe Gin Fizz contains sloe gin, lemon juice, superfine sugar, and club soda (with no egg white).[6]

Uncommon variations[edit]

  • Whiskey Fizz — American blended whiskey, lemon juice, sugar, and lemon-lime soda
  • Meyer Lemon Fizz— uses the sweeter Meyer lemon instead of normal lemon, and adds orange juice
  • Manhattan Cooler — scotch, lemon juice, sugar, and lemon-lime soda
  • Chicago Fizzrum, port wine, lemon juice, sugar, and egg white
  • Buck's Fizz
    (and variant Mimosa
    ) — champagne, orange juice, sometimes grenadine
  • Japanese Gin Fizz — a standard Gin Fizz with a shot of Lychee liquor added
  • Sour Melon Fizz - Gin, lime juice, midori and ginger ale

In popular culture[edit]

  • In Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key, protagonist Ned Beaumont encounters mob moll Lee Wilshire at the West Road Inn, and after asking her if she has eaten yet, she replies yes, but that she wants “a silver fizz.”
  • Ramos Fizz was mentioned in The John Cromwell film Dead Reckoning starring Humphrey Bogart and Lizabeth Scott. Lizabeth Scott Coral (Dusty Chandler) orders a Ramos Gin Fizzy in the bar with Capt. Warren (Rip) Murdock. where he comes to meet bartender Louis Ord George Chandler who was a witness against Sergeant Johnny Drake (William Prince) his paratrooper buddy.
  • The drink is mentioned in the Jack White and Loretta Lynn song "Portland Oregon," with the lines "Well, Portland Oregon and sloe gin fizz, if that ain't love then tell me what is" and "Well, sloe gin fizz works mighty fast, when you drink it by the pitcher and not by the glass." It is not common for the drink to be served by the pitcher, hence the allure of the beverage.
  • Another song which includes a reference is Aerosmith's "Rag Doll", which includes the lyrics "Sloe gin fizzy / do it till you're dizzy / give it all you got until you're put out of your misery."
  • This beverage is mentioned in Book Two of Richard Wright's novel Native Son as the character Bigger Thomas orders two sloe gin fizzes: one for him and the other for Bessie.
  • The name also shows up in the song "BMW Man" on the Local H album 12 Angry Months.
  • The drink is sung of by Sammy Kershaw in his song "Queen of my Double Wide Trailer." "We sat there talkin' by the lobster tank/I ordered her a sloe gin fizz/And when them chicken-fried steaks arrived/She said, 'I like living like this.'"
  • Jim Morrison played by Val Kilmer requests a Ramos Fizz from a bartender in the movie The Doors.
  • Sloe Gin Fizz is the drink of choice for the bank robber characters in the cult classic comedy movie Safe Men.
  • The Ramos Fizz is referenced in the season six (part two) premiere of The Sopranos entitled Soprano Home Movies.
  • Paul Sanchez, a New Orleans singer/songwriter, references this drink in his song "Drunk This Christmas" in the line "I hope Santa's bringing / an icy Sloe gin fizz."
  • In Paul Scott's Raj Quartet, a series of novels set in 1940s India, several scenes include consumption of sloe gin fizzes.
  • This drink is mentioned in the TV series Psych in the episode "Lets Get Hairy." "I'd like a Sloe gin fizz please, hold the gin, extra fizz."
  • This drink is mentioned in an episode of the TV series Greek, on ABC Family. Casey Cartwright orders two sloe gin fizzes for herself and Catherine. Later, Catherine says, "This slow gin fizz is not living up to its name; it went straight to my head pretty quickly!"
  • In an episode of The Golden Girls, entitled "The Triangle," Dr. Elliott Clayton arrives to pick up Dorothy for their date. Blanche offers to make him a Sloe Gin Fizz while he waits for Dorothy to finish getting ready. Instead of the cocktail, he prefers to hit on Blanche. Blanche is not accustomed to being manhandled.
  • In the song "Stagger Lee" by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia, Delilah De Lyon "Went up to Stagger Lee at the bar, says 'Buy me Gin Fizz love?'"
  • In the 1934 film The Captain Hates the Sea a former prostitute (Wynne Gibson) married to a millionaire orders a Sloe Gin Fizz at a society gathering, unwittingly revealing her lowly background.

See also[edit]



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