A few years back, my buddy LA Dubbs told me about a little place called Milk & Honey in New York. He spoke of masterfully crafted cocktails served up in an egalitarian speakeasy environment. The first drink I had there was a Queens Park Swizzle. It is safe to say that drink actually changed my life.
The QPS is Trinidad’s answer to the Mojito. Named for the lush Queen’s Park located in the in Port of Spain, Trinidad, this drink was popularized in the States by Trader Vic who, in 1947, described it as “the most delightful form of anesthesia given out today.” Recipes vary according to sources, but as far as I can tell, if you were to order a QPS at the Queens Park Hotel in the 1940s it would have been made with a dark demerara style Guyanan rum. Some recipes I’ve come across call for light rum and the addition of demerara syrup. Almost all call for Angostura bitters. The one I had at M&H included Peychaud’s, which is the first and last time I’ve seen that move. As I prefer a darker rum over a lighter, the recipe below is somewhere in between all of them…
Queens Park Swizzle
3 oz. Gold Rum
.75 oz. Raw Cane sugar syrup
Juice of 1 lime, plus 1/2 rind quartered
A few dashes Peychaud’s
A few dashes Angostura
In the bottom of a high ball glass, combine the bottom six or eight mint leaves from the sprig, lime juice and rind pieces, rum and sugar syrup and muddle thoroughly. Fill the glass with crushed ice, insert a swizzle stick, and swizzle until the glass is well frosted. If you don’t have a swizzle stick, just stir it a bit. Top off with soda, pack in a bit more crushed ice, add the bitters, a straw and the top of the sprig for a garnish.
Well, not really, but a good article on the Sazerac, anyways:
“Now I will give you the formula for the one and only one, the Ramos Original Gin Fizz. But in publishing it you must say that if success does not attend the first mixture, a second should be tried. And be sure to use an airtight shaker and to shake and shake and shake until there is not a bubble left but the drink is smooth and snowy white and of the consistency of good rich milk. The secret in success lies in the good care you take and in your patience, and be certain to use good material.”
- H.C. Ramos, New Orleans Item-Tribune, Sunday, September 23, 1928
Ahhh, the fizz. There are many, many variations. The Morning Glory Fizz. The Sloe Gin Fizz. The Golden Fox Fizz. But the king of them all is the Ramos Gin Fizz, aka the New Orleans Fizz. Without getting into too much detail and historical accuracies, this drink was invented by the Ramos brothers at their bar, the Imperial Cabinet in New Orleans, sometime before prohibition. They kept the recipe secret, but finally made it public to protest the “Temperance Movement.” It’s a huge pain in the ass to make, but it’s a delicious little bastard.
Ramos Gin Fizz
2 oz. Gin
1 oz. Simple Syrup
.5 oz. Lemon Juice
.5 oz. Lime Juice
.5 oz. Cream
1 Egg White
Mix all ingredients in a shaker (save the Club Soda) without ice. Shake vigorously for a few seconds. Add cracked ice – as much as you can get in the shaker yet still allow room for movement – and shake beyond all sense and reason. Pour into a narrow mouthed Collins glass, and top off with a bit of Soda. Garnish with a drop or two of orange flower water, if you’ve got it on hand. Finally, if you’ve made this drink properly, you should be able to stick a straw in the foam, which should have enough surface tension to keep it afloat.
If you’re looking for a more informative take on this drink, check out the following article: