Zombie Boy

I just tried the most complicated cocktail thus far this year (all 8 days of it): a Ramos Gin Fizz. It's also the last of a cluster of gin drinks, for which I'm glad. I'm junipered out.

According to the calendar and wikipedia, this was invented by one Henry Ramos in New Orleans. It became so popular in the years before Prohibition that his establishment employed legions of "shaker boys" during happy hours to shake the stuff for the requisite 4-5 minutes. Now they'd probably call them Chippendales or something similar down in the Big Easy. "Show us your Ramos Gin Fizz!" Governor Huey Long liked the drink so much that he sent a New Orleans bartender to New York to teach the guys there how to make his favorite slosh when he was in the Big Apple, and now they hold the copyright on the name. Big Gyp they should call it.

This gin fizz calls for the usual gin, club soda, cream, citrus juices, vanilla extract, egg white, superfine sugar, and the secret ingredient, orange flower water, which I actually already had on my hand. You're supposed to shake everything but the club soda over ice in a shaker for 4-5 minutes, strain into a glass, then top with the chilled club soda.

I took the easy way out that the calendar suggests: I pulsed the ingredients in a blender instead. They weren't chilled by any ice, but I figured the gin and the cream and the egg came right out of the fridge, so they were cold enough for my purposes. Wikipedia says many bartenders use powdered egg white these days. I like to live dangerously.

And I'm glad I do. When you pour the club soda over the base of the drink, the egg white and cream foam up to make a sweet head on the drink, sort of like a Mardi Gras eggnog. The sugar helps cut the lemon and lime juices too, but frankly I didn't taste the orange flower water over the gin and the citrus. The recipe called for 2 or 3 dashes, so maybe I didn't dash enough. (Update: As I'm writing this, I'm getting a little of the orange flower water as an aftertaste.)

The wikipedia entry says you should drink this out of a zombie glass, which I've never heard of before. According to them, it's a tall, narrow glass for cocktails (good for champagne cocktails, I bet). Somebody on ebay has 72 for sale ($40). What would you do with 72 of them, unless you get drunk a lot in front of a roaring fireplace and hurl your glass at that former relationship leering at you from the flames. Theirs are 7 inches tall and hold 12 ounces. I have tumblers of roughly the same size and shape, so I may try this one more time before I file away the recipe. Frankly, after 2 ounces of gin as an afternoon pick me up, I'm feeling a little Zombie-ish at the moment. Maybe I can get Rosa to share the couch.