Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Brunch Cocktail Alternatives – Part 2


(Note:  This article was also published on the Drinking Made Easy Web site, November 10, 2010) 

Looking for a little Hair Of The Dog That Bit You the day after a rough night? A few weeks ago, I made a post about Brunch Cocktail Alternatives. You may well consider this piece something of a follow-up because this post will discuss some additional brunch cocktails that'll take the edge off and get you to a (semi-) functional state again. If they seem interesting, check out the recipes, try them and please let me know what you think.

Let’s start with a little something called The Ramos Gin Fizz. The first time I ever heard of this one was a few years ago in an episode from the last season of “The Sopranos” and I immediately became fascinated with this cocktail. Unfortunately, the main stumbling block for me was where to find one of its main ingredients – the orange flower water. Eventually, a bartender set me straight on that one and advised me of several places here in New York City where it could be easily purchased.

According to The Art Of Drink, the history behind this cocktail is as follows:

This classic cocktail was created by Henry C. Ramos in 1888, in his bar in New Orleans, it was originally called a "New Orleans Fizz." Back before prohibition this drink was very popular, and because labour rates were so cheap, the Ramos brothers would hire a couple dozen "shaker boys" to whip up these drinks during fair time. The drink was so popular that it was still difficult for them to keep up with the orders. Over time the idea of a quality drink was replaced by a fast drink and the Ramos Gin Fizz slowly faded away. It is still made in bars and hotels, but very few outside of New Orleans. Hopefully with the resurgence of cocktails this drink will make a comeback.

Admittedly, the recipe can be a little daunting -- in fact, some bartenders might even refuse to make it for you should you order one! However, you can take shortcuts …


Here’s a recipe, again from The Art Of Drink Web site:


Ramos Gin Fizz

  • · 2 ounces gin (Plymouth)
  • · ½ Tbls egg white (powdered)
  • · ½ oz simple syrup
  • · ½  oz lemon juice
  • · ½ oz lime juice
  • · 1 oz cream
  • · 3 drops orange flower water
  • · 1-2 oz Soda water

Now, in the above video, you may have noticed that the bartender used an actual egg, which can be difficult when the recipe calls strictly for egg whites. However, the above recipe calls for powdered egg white; this is one way in which you can take a shortcut. Another way you can take a shortcut – and one which I can personally recommend because this is the way I make my own version of the cocktail – is to use the liquid egg white you might find in a container in the dairy section of your local supermarket; this way is arguably “healthier” because this version of the egg white is usually fat-free and/or cholesterol-free, so you can be somewhat self-congratulatory for making yourself something that won’t harden your arteries quite so quickly.

Do you know about a cocktail called The French 75? If you’re a history buff – especially, a World War I expert – you may have already heard of this drink. It was named after a type of armament that aided the French troops in the war. The Web site Ask Men tells its story:

The drink was allegedly created by a World War I fighter pilot of French and American origin who found champagne a little lacking in the potency department. The resulting drink was so powerful he said it felt like being on the receiving end of a French 75mm howitzer artillery piece -- hence the name.

Depending on your own personal tastes, the cocktail calls for either gin or cognac. Although often made with gin, by all means, go with that one if it’s your preference -- but if you’re a purist, then cognac would probably be your choice. As for me, I go with cognac in the cooler months and gin in the warmer months. For now, however, let’s use the recipe from Esquire

French 75

  • 2 ounces London dry gin
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 5 ounces Brut champagne

Glass Type: Collins glass


Shake well with cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker, then strain into a Collins glass half-full of cracked ice and top off with champagne.

Finally, for those of you who still crave the spiciness of The Bloody Mary but are looking for variations on that theme, you can still make that same drink, but swap out the vodka for a different spirit. Here are a few examples …

  • The Bloody Maria: Tequila
  • La Cubanita: Rum
  • The Ruddy Mary: Gin
  • The Bloody Geisha: Sake
  • The Bloody Fairy: Absinthe

For more ideas on Bloody Mary variations, check out this Wikipedia link.