Gin Fizz Cocktail

By Robert Hess

The Fizz, a once popular style of drink, can be made in myriad ways. The Gin Fizz is light and refreshing and deserves re-discovery.

Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 oz gin

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

1/4 oz simple syrup

soda water

Instructions

Shake first three ingredients with ice.

Strain over ice in a highball glass.

Top off with soda water.

Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Serve with straws.

Comments
Nicholas 7 Apr 2008
12:01 pm

Great episode! I am slightly confused about your syrup.  You say that the syrup you’re using is “rich syrup” (2:1 sugar:water) and that “simple syrup” is 1:1.  The recipe on the sidebar calls for 1/4 oz of simple syrup but in the episode you used 1/4 oz of rich syrup.

By the way, I have that same soda siphon and it’s really great for parties!  Definitely recommended.

Perry Willis 7 Apr 2008
3:56 pm

Greetings,
Looking forward to trying this one.  It is almost warm enough here in MN to mix one up—one more week or two. Couple of questions/comments…

1. How long does the soda siphon, once charged, contain soda water I would want to use? Is it a short life or fairly long lived compared to an opened bottle of soda water? At just under 7 cents a liter for soda water is quite attractive if it lasts a while.  Wouldn’t take too long to recover cost of siphon.

2. In a previous episode, I recall watching a guest, Jamie B, using a small mesh strainer to remove “bits” from a cocktail. I have since begun this practice with my lemon juice in some cocktails. My squeezer (which I LOVE) gets the seeds, but not the pulp. For cocktails such as the Aviation, it really helps with the presentation to remove the pulp. Probably not as important in the Fizz, but woudn’t hurt.

3. On a video note: I am please to see Robert back in his Drinkboy shirt.

Cheers,
P-Dubyah

Chuck 7 Apr 2008
4:57 pm

Another fine episode!

Robert, could you expand a bit more on what you feel is the primary difference between a Tom Collins & a Gin Fizz?  I’ve been grappling with this dilemma for years!

Dimitris Zappas 8 Apr 2008
6:26 am

@Chunk:
the difference between a Collins and a fizz is at the
a. Preparation method, (Collins=build, Fizzes=shake all but the soda.
b. Garnish (Collins=lemon, cherry. Fizzes= none)
c. Glass (Collins=collins or highball. Fizzes= Delmonico or small tumbler).
I hope i help you.

Dimitris Zappas
Classic and Flair bar instructor,
Bartendix,
Board member and Chairman for Flairtending of Hellenic Barmen Association - member of International Bartenders Association.

Owen Webb 9 Apr 2008
11:36 am

What great timing for this episode.

Last night me and a big group of friends went out for drinks and dinner at b side in Boston (a great bar).  I convinced one of my friends to order a sloe gin fizz… and it was delicious (all 15 of us agreed it was one of the best drinks of the evening).  On the way home I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be cool if the cocktail spirit for the week was the sloe gin fizz…

Boy was I shocked when I got home and saw that it was the gin fizz… Its like Robert was watching me; so I made a gin fizz and it was really tasty… so a couple questions for you Robert.

If I wanted a sloe gin fizz, would I just replace the simple syrup with 1/2 an ounce of sloe gin?

Also, I got to reading about fizz style drinks and stumbled on a couple things… one was the Ramos Gin Fizz, which looks great… and the other thing was that Fizz style drinks don’t have ice.  So what’s the story on the ice?

Dimitrios Chalvatzis 10 Apr 2008
6:35 am

Robert,

Your point about ‘rich’ vs. simple syrup is important enough to examine in its own right…. in fact, Darcy O’Neil goes to great extend in Mixologist Vol.1 to point this out. Mixology is all about precision…a balance between acids, sugars and ethanol in the drink (or even proteins in case of eggs, creams, and gelatine). This should not be taken lightly if we are to retain the originality of drink recipes and create increasingly more sophisticated cocktails. And this is where the problem rises

Robert Hess 10 Apr 2008
8:35 am

Sorry I’m jumping in a little late here… Let’s see if I can address questions/issues in order:

@Nicholas

Aleks 26 May 2008
6:45 am

This is really nice!

Ive made my own variation on this though that I prefer, it involves using 1oz of RIPE pink grapefruit juice instead of the lemon and lime. And about 1/2-1oz (to taste) of sugar syrup with a dash of agnostura added for some nice taste. The final change is a dash (1/4oz at most) of a Polish Cherry Vodka called WISNIOWKA. I understand that people might not be able to get it, so a tiny drop of Kirsh or Cherry Brandy might do the trick.

Everything else is the same (glass, ice ect) and garnish with a grapefruit twist. I prefer this to the video shown, but its a matter of preference I guess.

Ide like to see what people think of my variation!

Cheers!
Aleks.

Robert Hess 26 May 2008
9:02 am

Aleks, personalizing a drink with slight variations (or big variations) is one way to better understand the drink itself, and see how different ingredients bring about various changes.

As a cautionary note to others who might be looking at a little experimentation, is to first make sure you get to the point where you feel you have “mastered” the original drink, and understand how all of it’s ingredients are coming into play, before you start riffing off on your own. This specifically applies to what could be considered “classic”. They are classic for a reason. This is the same approach that accomplished chefs will take in the kitchen, master the classics before they take off on their own.

-Robert

Aleks 26 May 2008
10:41 am

Hi Robert! I totally agree with you on this one.

I was making them before you posted your video, but I only learned truly the proper method and recipie from your video. It was only now that I felt to have enough confidence to post my change, after I used a friend of mine, a part-time Barman to try the gin fizz, and give me the “all clear”.

Now that I feel confident, and even made a version that I personally prefer, I am moving on to other drinks that I allready do not know. Firstly the martini, I think I keep adding too much vermouth to mine!

Practice-makes-classic-makes-perfect!
-Aleks.

oliver 22 Apr 2009
1:27 pm

Hi Robert,
if we look at Thomas Book a fizz is a short drink without ice and only a little bit of soda and a collins is a longdrink with ice and a bottle of soda (steward & barkeepers manual 1868). With this definition you made a wounderfull John Collins :)

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