Orange Dream

A Big Easy cocktail

If you missed Mardi Gras in New Orleans last month, don’t fret. The Ramos gin fizz, a classic Big Easy cocktail, is now on Merchant’s brunch menu. Rich with cream and eggs, spiked with gin, and perfumed with orange flower water and vanilla, the drink gives the Bloody Mary a run for its money.

“It’s like a Dreamsicle milkshake,” says co-owner Patrick Sweeney.

To earn such praise, an authentic gin fizz is shaken for several minutes—up to ten, according to some recipes—to produce a gorgeous snowy cap of egg and cream. In the late nineteenth century, New Orleans bartender Henry Ramos, the cocktail’s inventor, supposedly employed a corps of young men at his bar solely to shake the drink.

Few of us can afford such luxuries, though, so if you’re whipping up a gin fizz at home, feel free to pull out the blender. We won’t tell.

RECIPE: Ramos Gin Fizz

2–3 drops orange blossom water
2 oz. heavy cream
1/2 oz. each fresh lemon and lime juice
1 oz. Madagascar vanilla syrup
1 egg white (1 oz. total)
1 1/2 oz. gin
Club soda

Add all ingredients except soda to a shaker without ice. Shake very hard for at least 1 minute. Add ice; shake again, hard, for at least 2 to 3 minutes. Strain into a tall tumbler. Top with club soda; stir gently until foamy.

Recipe courtesy of Merchant, 121 S. Pinckney St., 259-9799,

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