Lesson Two: Recipes

Chapter Three: Tiny Bubbles, aka The Gin Fizz

Supporting Cast:
Gin Daisy
Atomic Cocktail

The Gin Fizz

There are things that get screwed up in this world through lack of skill, like Britney’s acting career, or through lack of opportunity, like Wondrich’s teen idol career. There are things—like the vengeance of the Chicago Cubs—that get screwed up by bad luck, karma, juju, feng shui, or whatever you want to call the mysterious hand that guides our destinies. The Gin Fizz belongs to none of these categories. It belongs to the group of things that are screwed up by philosophy.
You see, most people who make a Fizz these days build it in a tall glass and give it a hefty cargo of ice cubes to carry around. That’s not the true path. When the Fizz was invented, right after the Civil War, it was designed to leap and sparkle in the glass for a moment and then dash down the gullet like a hound down a foxhole. It was a quick tonic to the system, not a slow sipper. As such, its gin version was the standard prescription for a hangover until the Bloody Mary came along—particularly when a bit of protein, in the form of egg white, was added to the mix (this yields what is technically known as a “Silver Fizz,” a name which is perfectly descriptive of its gleaming, opaque appearance).

2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
(optional: white of 1 raw egg, or 1 white for every 2 drinks)
To finish: chilled fizz water

Shake (viciously, if using the egg white) and strain into a chilled tumbler; top off with fizz water.  Tip: if it isn’t fizzy enough for you, scatter another ½ teaspoon of superfine sugar across the top; this should raise a flurry of bubbles.

Substitutions: A whole egg instead of the egg white yields a Golden Fizz; a couple of mint leaves turn a plain Gin Fizz into an Alabama Fizz and a Silver Fizz into a Boot Leg Fizz; for other variations, proceed as with the Tom Collins.

Gin Daisy

A contemporary of the Fizz, the Daisy was a short Sour or Punch sweetened with liqueur or flavored syrup instead of plain sugar, served in a cocktail glass, and given a squirt of charged water at the end to lighten it up and lend it a little sparkle (in other words, a Fizz without quite so much fizz). With the passing of the generations, the art of Daisy-making lost its way, and the drink ended up as a sweet, even sticky, grenadine concoction, served on the rocks in a stemless glass. Pity. Properly made (as by Daisymaster Sasha Petraske, presiding genius over Milk & Honey, New York’s modern-day speakeasy progenitor), the Gin Daisy is an all-around stunner of a drink that will leave you feeling fresh as a . . .

2 ounces gin
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon rich simple syrup
1/2 ounce lemon juice
To finish: chilled fizz water
Lemon peel

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass; add a splash of fizzy water and twist a large patch of lemon peel over the top.

Atomic Cocktail

As long as we’re dealing with fusion and fission and that sort of thing, this one’s a Vegas joint from the early ‘50s, back when A-bomb tests were giving the mob-financed, Okie-staffed casinos a run for their money as tourist attractions. The Atomic Cocktail has a megaton load worthy of its name, so make sure to don proper protective clothing (or maybe just have the one).

1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 1/2 ounces VSOP cognac
1 teaspoon amontillado sherry
1 1/2 to 2 ounces chilled brut champagne

Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass; top off with the champagne.

Silver Fizz

Ryan Demonstrates How To Make a Silver Fizz.

Silver Fizz
In mixing glass;
Strain 1 egg white
Add 3/4 oz Lemon juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
1.5 oz London Dry Gin
Dry shake
Add ice
shake the hell out of it for 30 seconds
Strain into collins glass with no ice
Top off with club soda
Test your drink. If a straw stands straight up in the drink,
you have succeeded and may move onto the next cocktail.

How to use Egg Whites

Andy Shows You How to Use Egg Whites.

Reproduced from “Killer Cocktails” by David Wondrich.