I have little doubt that one or more of our illustrious group of cocktailians will plunge headfirst into the the history of the gin fizz. If not, Eric Felten does more than a fine job of detailing its origins and downfall in How’s Your Drink? which should be hitting shelves before yuletide. For those of you who haven’t had your eyes glued to an advance readers copy, you’re in for a treat this winter.
This week’s Mixology Monday is being hosted by Gabriel over at Cocktail Nerd. He has such a fine blog, and it brings me pleasure to participate in his fizzy adventures. I knew immediately which book to pull off the shelf …
Baker hosts a whole section on gin fizzes in his fine companion, which features drinks such as the Bird of Paradise tinted with raspberry syrup, the Creole Fizz which relies on sloe gin, and the Gin Fizz Tropical which simply replaces the lemon with lime. The list doesn’t stop there, however. How about the Amer Picon “Pouffle” Fizz or the Fizz a la Violette? I feel good Charles in the room with me, beckoning me to create or find all these holy grail ingredients just to please his whim. “Good sir, it troubles my heart that you don’t have some good homemade picon. Perhaps my manservant can fetch it for you.”
New Orleans Fizz No. 1
- 2 1/4oz gin
- 1oz heavy cream
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 – 1/2oz lemon juice
- 1t sugar or 2t simple syrup
- 1t kirsch
- club soda
Shake hard with lots of cracked ice until your hands are stuck to the frost-crusted shaker and you want to die. Strain into a goblet and top with club soda.
Source: The Gentleman’s Companion Volume II: The Exotic Drinking Book, Charles H. Baker, Jr.
A heavenly array of bubbles fills the glass from base to rim. Each sip is met with the tingle of foam as the white pillow slowly descends down the glass. The kirsch is much more than an afterthought, and definitely provides that “special taste that you can’t identify.”
A Question for the Masses
Baker most often calls for citrus by “half a lime” or “the juice of one lemon.” Considering that early-industrial citrus probably didn’t produce the massive fruits we have today, how do you account for this? Is “half a lemon” 1/2oz? more? What about limes?