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Food & Drink

Iconic New Orleans Cocktails: The Ramos Gin Fizz

The Ramos Gin Fizz is one of New Orleans’ most well known and delicious cocktails, found at several sophisticated cocktail bars in New Orleans.

Tall, cool, and sporting summer whites: the Ramos Gin Fizz is one of the most iconic New Orleans cocktails. Named after its inventor Henry C. Ramos, owner of the bygone Imperial Cabinet Saloon in downtown New Orleans, Ramos originally called his 1888 cocktail the New Orleans Fizz. The drink proved so popular that Ramos had to employ anywhere from 12 to 20 bartenders just to shake the frothy contents.

In the 1930s, Fizz fan Governor Huey P. Long went so far as to fly a bartender from the New Orleans’ Roosevelt Hotel to the New Yorker Hotel to teach the New York bartenders how to properly craft the cocktail, so that the governor would never be without his favorite concoction on his visits to Manhattan. Long and the Ramos Gin Fizz were perfect matches: a larger than life persona and, at 12 to 14 ounces, a larger than life cocktail.

The Sazerac Bar’s Ramos Gin Fizz (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

That same year the Roosevelt Hotel renamed the New Orleans drink after Ramos and the appellation has stuck ever since. Because the Ramos Gin Fizz requires some time and skill to mix, the drink isn’t one for dive bars. The thirsty travelers’ best bet for an authentic pour remains the Roosevelt Hotel’s swanky New Orleans bar, the art deco Sazerac Bar. (Not surprisingly, it’s also the best place to get a Sazerac.) In addition to the Sazerac Bar, in the French Quarter try Arnaud’s French 75, Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar and Bar Tonique; or Uptown, Cure on Freret Street.

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