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my first drink, twice

The Ramos Gin Fizz was my first drink, twice.

One of my earliest memories of going out to a dinner with my parents is from when I was seven or eight years old. It may have been the first meal in multiple-courses I ever had. This was no special occasion, just that for some reason, the parents could not arrange for a sitter, so sister and I accompanied them out.

The venue was the Clock Garden Restaurant (downtown Monterey California), where our across-the-street neighbor Robert tended bar. The parents ordered cocktails, exactly what I do not recall. Our neighbor brought them to the table, along with a pair of tall white drinks for the sister and me.

“What is that?” sister asked as he set the glasses in front of us.

“A Fozzie Bear” replied Robert.

Mummy Dearest sprang on it for a first taste, and asked what it was.

He told her, “it’s a Ramos Gin Fizz, without the gin”. “I think I’d like one next” she said.

In this water goblet, was a light and substantial drink with a texture unlike anything I’d tasted at that point, not quite a milkshake or orange julius, although qualities of both without some of the sweetness. It was the ice crystals suspended in airy whipped cream, but without much of the fattiness of whipped cream.

Thirteen years later, on the occasion of my majority, Mummy Dearest proposed a drink in celebration. Robert still tended bar at the Clock, and since he was (and is) practically family, we went there for the ritual “first drink”.

Of course I asked for a “Fozzie Bear, a real one this time”. Robert smiled and knew exactly what to make.

Mixology Monday 19For this month’s Mixology Monday, I decided to re-acquaint myself with the Ramos Gin Fizz. Although the organizer, Gabriel at cocktailnerd, encouraged the use of champagne, we took a different tack. We offer our apologies to Gabriel, but the Prince of Cups declared the French 75 the Champion of Champagne Cocktails some time ago. We do expect that this month’s Mixology Monday will inspire us to broaden our adulterous intents with champagne.

I had been intending to serve the Ramos Gin Fizz as a pre-brunch charger Sunday, but the Brunch Team was backing-out. When unexpected overnight guests arrived Saturday night, I decided to share the Ramos Gin Fizz with them.

I used the blender and mixed batches of two.

Ramos Gin Fizz (makes two)

In the container of a blender, pour

â—‡ 2 oz heavy cream

â—‡ 1 egg white

â—‡ 2 tsp Elizabethan Pantry orange blossom water

â—‡ 5 dashes Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters

â—‡ 3 tsp sugar, and

â—‡ a handful of ice.

Blend on the highest setting for 45 seconds.

Then add

â—‡ 4 oz Tanqueray gin,

â—‡ 2 oz lemon juice, and

â—‡ a handful of ice.

Blend this for another 45 seconds.

Pour 1 oz soda water into each of two water goblets,

divide the contents of the blender between the two goblets.

Garnish with a mint leaf.

What an incredible drink! While I’d like to try mixing it by hand, as Paul at Cocktail Chronicles encourages (and gives the history), this is a drink that is going to have top billing at the Prince of Cups for some time.


  1. Doug Winship wrote:

    That is a very cool story! But you simply cannot, dammit, do a post like that and not include the recipe for the Fozzie Bear!

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 09:23:06 | Permalink
  2. Ouroboros wrote:

    I did ask Robert about that once. I seem to remember him saying that the balance of liquid (after omitting the gin) was taken up with a splash of orange juice and a little extra blending (for extra water).

    A drink base like that, though, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong (although curdling the cream would be gross; luckily the two-stage blending helps get around that pitfall).

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 17:50:59 | Permalink
  3. Phil wrote:

    Awesome story.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 19:58:28 | Permalink
  4. Phil wrote:

    Not that I think children should be given a taste for gin or fed raw eggs, but would be a fun addition to the typical Roy Rogers and Shirley Temples. Some citrus zest and juniper oil might actually make it pretty lifelike…

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 20:15:08 | Permalink
  5. misuba wrote:

    On behalf of the Brunch Team I am sorry we let you down. Also, we are seeking corporate sponsorship.

    Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 12:21:44 | Permalink

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