The gin fizz is one of the better-known variations of a broader cocktail category, the fizz. The term largely indicates a sour drink, or one that incorporates lemon or lime juice for citric acid, and is then topped with carbonated water.
Many fizzes also incorporate egg whites. While not a requirement, the enduring popularity of the Ramos Gin Fizz, a drink famous for its use of cream, eggs and a 12-minute shake time, as well as eggs’ use in numerous pre-Prohibition recipes have led many to equate them as a signature ingredient of fizzes.
Though it can be prepared a number of ways—some argue a conventional gin fizz uses no egg should be served up, without ice—we’ve opted for a version that combines the best of modern and traditional technique. You can omit the egg white to save on ingredients and mess, or to create a vegan cocktail, but its inclusion provides needed body and texture to the drink that helps differentiate it from similar cocktails like a Tom Collins.
We also opt to serve our gin fizz over ice rather than up, as the carbonated drink begs to be enjoyed as warm-weather refreshment. Serving without ice invites your cocktail to quickly transition to the temperature and texture of flat beer if you don’t sip fast enough and offers no real benefit to the drink.
- 2 ounces gin
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- ¾ ounce simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- Seltzer, to top
- Lemon peel (to garnish)
In cocktail shaker without ice, combine first four ingredients. Dry shake, vigorously and without ice, for at least 20 seconds or until egg white appears fully beaten and incorporated into drink. Add ice and shake again for 10–15 seconds to chill. Pour into Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with fresh seltzer and allow head to rise. Garnish with lemon peel.
Looking for something equally refreshing and a bit more fruit forward? Swap regular gin for sloe gin to make a classic Sloe Gin Fizz. A fruit liqueur, sloe gin creates its own slightly creamy head when shaken, allowing you to omit the egg white while still retaining body.
Authentic sloe gin can be difficult to find in the U.S., as the fruit isn’t native to the States and for decades, cheap domestic bottlings were created with artificially flavored syrups. Look for U.K. offerings like Hayman’s Sloe Gin or Plymouth. Spirit Works, based in Sonoma County, California, imports sloe berries from Europe for their Sloe Gin. Meanwhile, Brooklyn, New York-based Greenhook Ginsmiths creates a similar Beach Plum Gin Liqueur, crafted from a domestic relative to the European sloe berry.