The Fizz Cocktail

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The Fizz cocktail is a long drink, named so because the many variations that can be prepared all have one thing in common: carbonated water and/or fizzy juices, or acidic juices such as those extracted from lemons or limes. Thus, the mixed drink can be prepared with a variety of alcoholic beverages and fizzy drinks, depending on preference and taste.

Being quite an old beverage, the origins of the Fizz cocktail are not completely clear; we do know that the first written account of it appears in Bartender’s Guide by Jerry Thomas, in the 1887 edition. In there, the name of the drink is spelled ‘fiz” and there are six different recipes. We also know that the cocktail became very popular in America in the 1900-1940s period, and today it is considered a New Orleans specialty. The most popular form back then and now was the Gin Fizz; in fact, it was so popular that bars where it was served would have to hire additional bartenders just to have extra people shaking all the fizzes. The Fizz cocktail became popular internationally when it was mentioned in L’Art Culinaire Francais, a French cookbook published in the 1950s.

Like we mentioned above, the Gin Fizz is the most popular recipe, and its official IBA ingredients are as specified:

  • 45 ml Gin
  • 30 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 10 ml Gomme syrup
  • 80 ml soda water

Being a long drink, this Fizz is served in a tumbler or a highball glass; you fill the glass with ice, and then pour all the ingredients over, stirring to level the taste. The drink can be garnished with a slice of lemon, but for other recipes you can use all kinds of garnishes, from strawberries to mint, lime wedges, kiwi, lemon peel, orange slices, maraschino cherries, cucumber slices, rosemary or whatever else goes with that particular recipe.

Another popular variation is the Ramos Gin Fizz, which is made with gin, lime juice, lemon juice, cream, sugar, egg white, soda water and orange flower water. This variation is also known mainly for being produced in New Orleans, and apparently it was invented in 1888 by Henry C. Ramos at the Imperial Cabinet Saloon, his bar. Reportedly, the drink had become so popular at one point that the bar hired twenty bartenders who did nothing else but mix and shake the Ramos Gin Fizz.

Here are some other well-known variations of the Fizz cocktail:

  • Golden Fizz – egg yolk is added;
  • Silver Fizz – egg white is added;
  • Diamond Fizz – the soda water is replaced by sparkling wine;
  • Royal Fizz – a whole egg is added;
  • Green Fizz – creme de menthe is added.

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