Imagine stepping into a bar in New Orleans in the late 19th Century and ordering a drink, only to witness a row of 15 men in white coats shake your cocktail vigorously and pass it to each other like one big assembly line. About 10 to 15 minutes later, you would have found yourself with one of the most notable classics in the cocktail lexicon that is still a favorite among many today, the Ramos Gin Fizz.
The drink was made famous at the Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel (the site our our recent interview with Ron Jeremy) and is made with gin, cream, lemon, lime, simple syrup, orange blossom water and egg white. The considerable effort required to make one of these drinks is what gives the Ramos its rich, velvety texture. However, try shaking a drink for even a third of that time and you’ll find out quickly why many bartenders lament when it is ordered.
One adventurous bartender, William Elliott of Brooklyn’s Maison Premiere, has created a robust original drink called the “Moonshake” (named after the song from the Krautrock band Can), which mirrors the fizzy style of the Ramos. It requires intense shaking, but features mezcal as the base spirit. However time consuming it may be, the foamy merengue-like cap is a delight and its texture serves to remove the intensity from the mezcal and Aperol, leaving a dry, yet pleasantly fruity finish on the palate. I recommend the drink with a spicy dish and, hopefully, a deeper appreciation for the time it takes to truly make this cocktail come to life. Enjoy!
- 1 ounce Mescal
- 3/4 ounces Aperol
- 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
- 2 dashes grapefruit bitters
- 1 dash vanilla (optional)
- egg white
- soda water
- Garnish with discarded grapefruit peel (only express the oils) and mint bunch
- Add mezcal, aperol, simple syrup, lime and grapefruit juice into your small shaker tin, and crack one egg over your large shaker tin, dropping only the egg white into the tin.
- Add a small amount of crushed ice and close the shakers to whip vigorously for about one minute.
- Add ice and continue shaking vigorously for several minutes (ideally around 10 to 15 minutes). The more you shake, the better the results.
- Strain with a Hawthorn strainer into a tall Collins glass and add a small amount of soda to rise the foam.
- Spray the oil from a few grapefruit peels over the foam, and then garnish with a sprig of mint. A straw is normally not used.