Want to learn how to make a Ramos Gin Fizz as good as those served in New Orleans? This drink is a truly spectacular centerpiece cocktail to show off your mixology skills. Our guide features four Ramos Gin Fizz recipes & tutorials (beginner to expert), the origins of the cocktail, a useful FAQ section and tips (including cutting the shake time to 60 seconds).

Ramos Gin Fizz Guide

Our ultimate guide to the Ramos Gin Fizz
Read our ultimate guide to making the Ramos Gin Fizz

The Bar Cabinet Notes

  • Pronunciation: ‘RAH-mose’ gin fizz
  • First seen: 1888, New Orleans
  • Perfect for: Brunch…& any time other than Brunch
  • AKA: ‘Ramos Fizz’ or ‘New Orleans Fizz’
  • Most noted for: New Orleans & Mardi-Gras, Annoying a bartender by ordering one at busy times
  • Difficulty: *****

Why learn to make the Ramos Gin Fizz?

The Ramos Gin Fizz is a cocktail which at first seems 'a bridge too far' for the amateur mixologist to attempt to make at home - however with our guidance you should be able to recreate it faithfully and learn to appreciate the time & care that went into concocting the original recipe and preparation methods.

For someone looking to show off home cocktail making skills to friends the Ramos Gin Fizz is an excellent choice - the final flourish of rasing the foam above the glass with soda water never fails to impress. The taste can also catch first-timers by surprise - from the appearance most will expect an overly sweet type of ice cream or milkshake flavoured drink. It also benefits from still being relatively unknown - it is unusual to see this offered in bars (the exception being New Orleans where it is considered the breakfast tipple of choice) mainly due to the lengthy preparation time - which certainly works up a thirst for the home mixologist.

How does the Ramos Gin Fizz taste?

The taste of Henry C. Ramos's creation is a matter of balance & delicacy - some describe it as ‘heaven in a glass’. It certainly is a test of the senses - providing an experience that is simultaneously creamy, silken, floral, rich, light, citrusy and frothy.

This drink has a taste which hints at key lime pie or a refreshing creamy lemon sherbet - the egg white & sugar balances out the sharp citrus and evens out the cocktail on the palate. The cream lends smoothness, soda water wakes everything up & the orange flower water provides the unique initial aroma to inform your senses you are about to partake in something special.

Key features of the Ramos Gin Fizz

The Ramos Gin Fizz feels as though it’s creation was a true labour of love - this is one cocktail that has no respect for standard mixology guidelines - but serves as a classic example of how some drinks ‘just work’ when the right ingredients & techniques are brought together.

Some notable oddities include:

  • It is unusual to see lemon and cream in the same recipe (indeed cream will curdle in the presence of citrus unless care is taken in preparation)
  • The combination of lemon and lime together in the same drink is quite rare - however the drink will not ‘feel’ right without both
  • The Ramos Gin Fizz is not a traditional ‘gin fizz’ (such as the silver fizz, golden fizz and royal fizz)
  • The shake time is probably the longest of any cocktail preparation
  • The use of orange blossom water is pretty much unique in mixology
"The secret in success lies in the good care you take and in your patience, and be certain to use good material" - Henry C Ramos

The Science Of The Cocktail

How long to ACTUALLY shake a Ramos Gin Fizz?

For most people the biggest obstacle to even attempt making a Ramos gin fizz is the idea of a '12 minute shake time'. However - it is more than likely that the 12 minute shake is the stuff of legend and is an exaggeration of the actual time taken - some accounts say it was likely closer to 5 minutes.

In the days of Henry Ramos there was no choice but to go through an extended shake to ensure the drink had the right consistency - however by understanding the science that goes into creating egg white foam structures it is possible to achieve the desired results with no more than 45-60 seconds total shake time (see our preferred recipe & method)

Shaking egg whites into a foam

So why is the Ramos Gin Fizz being shaken for such a long period of time? especially as the chilling effect of the ice on a cocktail stops after approximately 30 seconds. The answer is that the extra shaking effort is going towards creating a stable egg white foam structure.

Egg whites are made up of water, protein, and small amounts of minerals and sugars. An egg white foam is defined as a ‘colloid’ - a structure in which a gas is dispersed or spread throughout a liquid. The most well known use of egg white foam structures in cooking are meringues & souffles.

When a cocktail containing egg white is shaken, air is added and the egg white protein, albumen, is denatured (referring to the change of a protein’s shape under stress). The denatured protein molecules have hydrophilic, (water-attracting) ends which align with the water phase & hydrophobic (water-repelling) chains which align with the air phase. Once the proteins uncurl they also bond with each other, creating a network that can hold air bubbles in place - the result of this binding (or coagulation) is a stiff and stable foam structure.

How to make egg white foam

There are several key factors which affect the formation and stability of egg white foams (which is reflected in the preparation methods of the Ramos Gin Fizz) - this includes the following:

  • Fat - Even the smallest amounts of fat will interfere with the formation of egg white foam ( preventing the proteins from bonding with each other) - this is the reason it is critical to COMPLETELY separate the egg white from the yolk.

  • Sugar - This increases the viscosity of the liquid phase in the egg white - making it harder for air bubbles to move, coalesce and escape the egg white foam structure

  • pH - Citric acid from the lemon/lime juice decrease the pH of the egg white foam so that the proteins are less stable and more sensitive to denaturation. Some Ramos Gin Fizz recipes call for the egg whites and citrus juices to be pre-mixed for this very reason.

  • Temperature - An egg white foam is formed and reaches greater volume more quickly when the shaking happens at room temperature (cold egg whites have stronger bonds between the protein molecules). This is the basis of the ‘dry shake’ and ‘reverse dry shake’ Ramos Gin Fizz preparation methods - these specifically separate the shaking stages of egg white foam structure formation and chilling of the drink.

Recipes And Tutorials

Ramos gin fizz recipes
Our recipes and tutorials teach you how to make a professional Ramos Gin Fizz

To understand the intricacies of creating a professional Ramos Gin fizz we have created a 4 part recipe tutorial guiding you through different methods & versions of the cocktail. If you are starting as a complete beginner then by following our methods you will learn:

  • The different shake methods and how they affect the appearance of the Ramos Gin Fizz
  • How the unique flavours blend together to form the drink

Or you can just dive straight in and try whatever version takes your fancy!

Recipe 1 - Beginners

The ‘Ramos Lite’

Let’s start out with a basic version to give an appreciation for how the primary drink ingredients come together - you can make this version if you are short on some of the ingredients found in the more advanced versions.

The Recipe:

2 partsGin
1 partLemon Juice
1 partHeavy (Double) Cream
½ partEgg White
½-1 partSoda Water (for topping up)

The Method:

  1. Put all ingredients into a shaker tin (keep the citrus separate from the cream until shaking - this should be added to into the other tin)
  2. Shake with ice for two minutes in total (taking breaks when necessary)
  3. Use a hawthorn strainer to strain out the ice into a tall collins glass
  4. Top with a small amount of soda water as required & garnish

The Result:

The combination of sugar syrup, lemon and cream should provide a good idea of the principle of the Ramos Gin Fizz

Recipe 2 - Intermediate

The 'Dry Shake' Ramos

This version uses the dry shake technique to build a better egg foam structure and introduces lime to make the citrus twist of the drink much more complex.

The Ingredients:

2 partsGin
½ partLemon Juice
¾ partLime Juice
1 partHeavy Cream
½ partEgg White
½-1 partSoda Water (for topping up)

The Method:

  1. Put all the ingredients into the boston shaker & shake without ice (the ‘dry shake’ step)
  2. Then add 1-3 medium size ice cubes and shake for another 90 seconds (the ‘wet shake’ step). The amount & type of ice used for the ‘wet shake’ is critical - it is best to use a single large piece of ice - using too much ice can ruin the foam structure you initially created in the initial dry shake step.
  3. Use the hawthorn strainer to strain out any remaining ice into a tall glass - if the ice already melted in the tin then there is no need to strain
  4. Add some soda water and garnish the drink as desired

The Result:

This should result in an better structured drink than the Ramos Lite recipe. You should also get a feeling for the citrus balance between the lemon and lime (we opt to have slightly more lime than lemon)

Recipe 3 - Advanced

The 'Reverse Dry Shake' Ramos

This recipe uses the ‘reverse dry shake’ method - basically this involves carrying out the chilling step first (using all the main ingredients except for the egg white), discarding the ice and then shaking the now-chilled mixture with the egg white. This recipe also introduces the drops of orange flower water to the top of the drink.

The Ingredients:

2 partsGin
½ partLemon Juice
¾ partLime Juice
1 partHeavy Cream
½ partEgg White
½-1 partSoda Water (for topping up)
10-12 drops (~1 dash)Orange Blossom Water

The Method:

  1. Put all of the ingredients into the boston shaker (except the egg, orange flower water and soda water) & shake for 15-20 seconds with ice (the chilling 'wet shake' step)
  2. Discard the ice (by using a hawthorn stratiner) add the egg white to the chilled mixture and shake for another 90 seconds (the ‘dry shake’ step)
  3. Slowly pour the mixture into a tall collins glass, stopping just before it reaches the top
  4. Add the soda water to bring the drink up to the level of the glass
  5. Carefully add the drops of orange flower water to the top of the foam garnish the drink as desired

The Result:

This should result in an better structure of foam than the dry shake Ramos - by keeping the ice and egg white completely separate a much stiffer egg foam should have been achieved. You should also get a feeling for the aroma of the orange flower water which masks the 'damp' smell that sometimes eminates from egg white foam cocktails

Recipe 4 - Expert

Our Own Recipe

The reverse dry shake method is widely considered to be the best method out there - but - depending on your personal preference there are still ways to improve on it. For example - when using the reverse dry shake a very stiff foam structure can delivered at the top of the drink ar cost of a distinct two-part drink structure that lacks creaminess on the bottom half. This provides a stronger citrus hit in the bottom half ( there is not enough cream to take the edge off) which is very noticeable when drinking with a straw.

Our own preferred method looks to:

  • Further minimise the overall shake time
  • Not have excessive citrus/cream phase separation in the drink - instead having a more uniform consistency
  • Retain sufficient strength of the top foam structure for garnishing etc.
  • Introduce drops of vanilla essence to provide an additional flavour dimension (as detailed in some original versions of the Ramos)

Here is how to achieve it:

The Ingredients:

2 partsOld Tom Gin
½ partLemon Juice
¾ partLime Juice
1 partHeavy Cream
½ partEgg White
½-1 partSoda Water
10-12 drops (~1 dash)Orange Blossom Water
10-12 dropsVanilla Extract

The Method:

  1. Start by filling your collins glass with cold water and ice - this will gradually chill the glass while you prepare the cocktail
  2. Shake the gin, egg white, lemon juice (but NOT the lime) and HALF of the cream with no ice (dry shake) for 15 seconds
  3. Transfer this mixture to a separate container & leave to one side while the egg foam does its thing in the citrus rich mixture.
  4. In your shaker tins shake the gin, the other half quantity of cream, lime juice, sugar syrup & vanilla extract with ice for 30 seconds.
  5. Use a hawthorn strainer to remove the ice from the mixture - then add the egg and lemon mixture to bring everything together - then shake for 15 seconds with one VERY small piece of fresh ice
  6. Empty your collins glass of iced water - START BY adding a little soda water to the base
  7. Pour the cocktail slowly from your shaker into the collins glass - tapping the glass slightly to release the bubbles from the soda water into the drink - now wait 30 to 60 seconds for the drink to settle
  8. Take a little soda water (you can opt to swirl this around one of the shaker tins to pick up the remaining mixture) & add this very slowly to the centre of the drink to get the foam to stand proud of the glass top.
  9. Add the drops of the orange blossom water to the top of the foam then garnish with lime zest or half a lemon wheel - then finish off by placing a straw to stand straight in the middle of your tall collins glass

The Result:

This method results in a well mixed creamy drink with a not over-stiff foam head at top - and a 60 second total shake time! We find that splitting the cream between the two separate shaking stages provides a more pleasing result - but it’s over to you to decide your preference.

Presenting And Garnishing

The Ramos Gin Fizz should always be served in a tall collins glass. Having a straw positioned vertically dead centre in the glass provides quite a striking appearance.

Most garnishes for the Ramos Gin Fizz will look to compliment the citrus ingredients and/or the orange flower water - the stiff foam head certainly opens up a few options for decoration that are not possible with other cocktails.

Our personal preference is to use half a lemon slice balanced on the foam or a small amount of grated lime peel. The aroma of lemon/lime on the nose combined with the orange flower water drops makes the Ramos Gin Fizz experience unmistakable. As an aside - placing half a lemon wheel on the top of the foam and watching as it doesn't sink is visual confirmation of a well shaken Ramos Gin Fizz.

Some other options for garnishes include orange - either candied orange wheel or a twisted pieces of orange peel.

Raising the foam above the glass

One of the most infamous ways to garnish the Ramos Gin Fizz is by raising the height of the drink above the top of glass - this is done by adding soda water as a final step. For this to even be possible you need to ensure you have created a sturdy egg foam structure - the following techniques will help achieve this:

  • Use the reverse dry shake preparation method (which results in a stiffer foam structure) and use a sufficiently long shake time
  • Let the drink stand for 30 seconds after pouring from the shaker
  • Add the soda water very slowly to the centre of the drink (a jigger with a spout will help here)
  • Use a pre-chilled glass to assist with setting of the foam structure
  • Remember to gently tap the glass (with a wooden tool such as a muddler etc.) after pouring the drink and just before you are ready to add the soda water
  • You will get much better results with a good quality brand of soda water - and always make sure you are using a newly opened bottle or can

Ten tips to make a better Ramos Gin Fizz

ten tips to make a better ramos gin fizz
Read our ten tips to make a better Ramos Gin Fizz

TBC Tip 1 - Keep the cream separate from the citrus before shaking - this will prevent the cream from curdling. You can keep the cream and citrus in the separate tins until you are ready to shake together

TBC Tip 2 - Pre-chill the glass - this drink is (or should be) served without ice - a room temperature glass will warm a freshly shaken Ramos. A cold glass will help to achieve a quicker setting of the egg foam. The best way to chill a glass is to fill with ice and water (all the way to the top!) just prior to shaking the Ramos Gin Fizz and then emptying when you are ready to pour from the shaker

TBC tip 3 - Adding soda water to raise the foam above the glass - Some people choose to add the soda first to avoid flattening the foam at the top - however using a jigger with a spout should permit a slow & accurate addition of soda water - aim in the centre - but only after having let the drink stand for around 30 seconds

TBC Tip 4 - The standing straw test - this is the benchmark test for knowing if you have shaken the egg foam to the right consistency. Take the straw and submerge it in the centre of the drink - if it stands steady (not moving off to the side) then you are on to a winner. This is particularly true if you have elected to serve the drink with a much heavier stainless steel straw

TBC tip 5 - Shaking shortcuts - You may choose to use a blender. A blender ball is a device that’s placed into a cocktail shaker when blending ingredients using the dry shake (e.g. - no ice) step. Resembling a wire whisk, the blender ball makes whipping up egg whites much easier.

TBC Tip 6 - Aligning tins vertically during a dry shake - make sure to align the tin and glasses vertically when carrying out a dry shake step (e.g. - when no ice is in tins) - the lack of ice chilling & contracting the tins makes achieving a seal more difficult

TBC Tip 7 - Use the freshest egg you can get - This is possibly the most important tip of all - the fresher the egg, the more stable the foam that will form (due to the strength of the proteins in the egg white). You will be amazed the results achieved when using a fresh high quality free-range egg

TBC Tip 8 - Use a circular shake movement - Aim for an oval-shaped arc (& use a ‘flicking’ motion at the top of the shake) rather than a standard up-and-down style shake. This will help to incorporate more air into the egg foam.

TBC TIP 9 - Patience when pouring - After a lengthy shake it’s tempting to get the drink into the glass ASAP - however always pour a freshly mixed Ramos slowly into the glass from the shaker (not pouring from too high up) and give the drink 30 to 60 seconds to a minute to stand after pouring. This time allows the egg white foam to settle - you can use this time to prepare your garnishes.

TBC TIP 10 - Serve with scoop straws - Serve the drink with straw that have little scoops on the end (sometimes used for milkshakes) which allow you to get all of the foamy loveliness out of the glass without creating embarrassment.


Ramos gin fizz FAQ
Got a question? See our FAQ on the Ramos Gin Fizz

What is the best gin for the Ramos Gin Fizz? The original recipe called for Old Tom gin & this is still the best choice - it has less harsh juniper notes than other gins - instead it has a sweetness & aroma that compliments the drink

What glasses to use to serve the Ramos Gin Fizz? Tom Collins glasses - the narrower & taller the better

Is vanilla essence used in the Ramos Gin Fizz? Vanilla extract can be added - it is down to your personal preference - there is a history of controversy whether it was ever added to Henry Ramos original recipe

What is orange flower water? As its name suggests, orange flower water is extracted from the blossoms of the plant, not the fruit or peel - & as a result smells and tastes light and floral.

Can i substitute for the orange flower water? Some recipes suggested using orange bitters instead of orange flower water but we don’t recommend this. Don’t let the lack of orange flower water put you off from attempting to make the cocktail - it is more of a sensory experience for the nose (masking the ‘damp’ smell of egg whites) prior to taking the first sip.

Is there a substitute for egg whites? For whatever reason (dietary etc.) you may not want to use egg whites - there are substitutes available. Powdered egg whites?

What are the ‘dry shake’ and ‘reverse dry shake’ methods?

A dry shake method refers to initially shaking all ingredients without ice (to create the egg foam structure without chilling) and then a second shake step with ice to chill the drink. With the dry shake method it is best to use only one or two pieces of ice and shake until these have melted (e.g. - the tin no longer makes a rattling sound). Any ice that is left in the tin needs to be strained out and not served with the drink.

A reverse dry shake method involves shaking the ingredients (minus the egg white) to pre-chill the drink, discarding any leftover ice and then a second shake step takes place with the now-cold mixture & an egg white added. The reverse dry shake method means that the mixed cocktail mixture does not have to be strained. This method usually results in a stiffer foam at the top of the cocktail and allows the head to be raised with soda water.

What is the best way to make a Ramos Gin Fizz? As our guide shows - the ‘best’ way will depend on:

  • How you want the drink to appear (stiff foam with distinct separation or more of a uniform creamy consistency)
  • How much time you want to spend shaking

How to make the Ramos Gin Fizz foam rise above the glass? Use the reverse dry shake method and add soda water very slowly to the top of the glass - rember to tap the glass with a muddler before adding soda water

Should I double-strain the ramos gin fizz? NO - however if there is any ice left in the tins after the final shake step you can use a hawthorne strainer

Suggested variations

A number of amateur and professional mixologists have created their own twists on the Ramos Gin Fizz - for example:

  • Some recipes include triple sec to add stronger orange notes
  • You can use a flavoured gin to add a different dimension (rhubarb anyone?)
  • Using a flavoured sugar syrup such as basil or mint to also add colour as well as flavour (we always recommend that you make your own flavoured syrups)
  • Some of the more unusual garnishes include mint or grated nutmeg

You can also try...

With your knowledge of creating a decent egg foam structure for the Ramos Gin Fizz (and the dry shake and reverse dry shake techniques) you should now be able to make the following:

  • White Lady
  • Whisky sour
  • Pisco sour
  • Clover club

A Brief History of - The Ramos Gin Fizz

a brief history of the ramos gin fizz
A brief history of the Ramos Gin Fizz


  • The origins of the Ramos Gin Fizz can be found in New Orleans - the home of other classic cocktails such as the Hurricane and Sazerac

  • Originally named the 'New Orleans Fizz', it's creator Henry Charles Ramos used to call his famous drink 'The One And Only One'

creator of the ramos gin fizz - henry c ramos
Henry C Ramos - Creator of the 'one and only' Ramos Gin Fizz

The Creator

  • Henry Charles Ramos was born in Indiana in 1856 - a first generation American to two German immigrant parents. He moved to New Orleans when he was young.

  • After running saloons elsewhere in the US during the early 1880s, Ramos returned to New Orleans in 1888 and purchased the 'Imperial Cabinet' saloon with his brother as a partner. He moved from the Imperial Cabinet in 1907 and purchased the nearby larger Stag saloon.

  • Ramos never drank himself & took his responsibility of a host seriously - he wanted his guests to truly cherish the cocktail experience and not lose their appreciation for the drinks by indulging to excess. His bar closed promptly at 8 p.m. (and was only open for a few hours on Sundays)

  • As passionate as Ramos was about mixing cocktails, he was also a law-abiding citizen. When the Senate passed the Volstead Act (which established Prohibition) he announced, “I’ve sold my last Gin Fizz”,.

  • After prohibition the Stag saloon was closed and Henry Ramos went into the paint mixing business

  • Henry Charles Ramos died on September 18th 1928

The Ramos Shaker Boys

  • Part of the legend surrounding the cocktail was that it was originally shaken for a total time of 12 minutes using a long line-up of “shaker boys” - each shaking the drink for about 30 seconds before passing to the next in line until the 12 minute total shake time had been reached.

  • In his book Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'Em, Stanley Clisby Arthur writes that at The Stag, "the corps of busy shaker boys behind the bar was one of the sights of the town during Carnival, and in the 1915 Mardi Gras, 35 shaker boys nearly shook their arms off, but were still unable to keep up with the demand."

Ramos Shaker Boys
Photograph of the Ramos Saloon

The Reveal Of The Secret Recipe

The Ramos Gin Fizz recipe was published in an article featured in New Orleans Item-Tribune where a writer called Don Higgins conducted a post-prohibition interview with Henry Ramos. In this interview Ramos handed over the recipe to his cocktail creation and uttered the immortal line:

"The secret of success lies in the good care you take and in your patience, and be certain to use good material."

Higgins' piece about meeting Henry Ramos was re-published some years later on 23rd September 1928, five days after Henry's death as "A tribute to one of New Orleans' greatest treasures" - this featured a full reproduction of the origin article as follows:

That delightful old gentleman, Henry C. Ramos, whose palace de palate, coarsely called a bar, was known before July of 1919 to every real connoisseur of drinks in the civilized world, has consented to publish for the first time his formula for the ‘ONE AND ONLY ONE,’ otherwise and more commonly named RAMOS' ORIGINAL GIN FIZZ.

Here is his recipe, verbatim:

- One tablespoonful powdered sugar
- Three or four drops of orange flower water
- One-half lime (juice)
- One-half lemon (juice)
- One jigger of Old Tom Gin
- The white of one egg
- One-half glass of crushed ice
- About two tablespoonful of rich milk or cream
- A little Seltzer water (about an ounce) to make it pungent

Together well shaken and strained (drink freely)"

New Orleans Item-Tribune - Sunday, September 23, 1928

Other Notable References

  • In 1935, the Sazerac bar at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans purchased the rights to the Ramos Gin Fizz recipe from Henry's son and trademarked the new name "Ramos Gin Fizz".

  • The popularity of the drink was also helped by the governor of Louisiana, Huey P. Long's fondness of it. So much so, that in July 1935, he took a bartender, named Sam Guarino, from the Fairmont Hotel to the New Yorker Hotel in New York City to train the staff there how to make the drink.

  • The Ramos Gin Fizz the drink of choice of the Mississippi-native playwright Tennessee Williams (most famous for 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'). The playwright frequently expressed his passion for the drink by giving the characters in his works a Ramos Gin Fizz.

  • The cocktail is also featured in the post-WWII film noir, Dead Reckoning (1947) where the Ramos Gin Fizz is the signature drink for the Southern femme fatale Coral Chandler (Lizbeth Scott) enchanting the cynical ex-paratrooper Rip Murdock, portrayed by the Hollywood legend Humphrey Bogart. Grieving for her murdered husband she asks Bogart “What do you do, go on singing songs and drinking Ramos gin fizzes?”

Modern day

The drink is still served most famously at the Sazerac Bar at in the Roosevelt hotel in New Orleans - around 20,000 Ramos Gin Fizzes are sold there per year.

The general consensus is that the Ramos Gin Fizz is too elaborate and time consuming a cocktail to be included in the daily menu of a bar. And even if it does appear, bar etiquette suggests you don’t order a Ramos Gin Fizz if your bartender looks overwhelmed with orders.