Don’s Ramos Fizzes

We retire early here at Chez Glittering Eye so New Year’s Eve celebrations usually aren’t very much. If I make it all the way to midnight and drink a quick glass of champagne it’s a major achievement. But New Year’s Day is celebrated with considerable pomp and ceremony. Following the traditions of my wife’s family we rise early and breakfast on my wife’s famous apricot studel. I’ll give you the recipe for that some time.

We then watch the Rose Parade on TV. If you’re not aware of it, by far the best television coverage of the Rose Parade is on House & Garden TV on cable. They don’t just hit the high spots. They cover all the floats, all the bands, and all the equestrian groups. And the commentary is actually pretty well-informed unlike the inane happy-talk on the broadcast networks.

Part of the Rose Parade tradition with us has been my father-in-law’s Ramos Fizzes. Traditionally, they were consumed during the parade and all the way up to what Don (my father-in-law) as a proud alumnus of what he referred to as “the greater university of Southern California” called “the SC Game” (elsewhere referred to as the Rose Bowl Game).

Don’s been gone for some time now but we’ve preserved the tradition. I’m sharing the recipe with you so you can drink your “Fizzies” during the Rose Parade, too. Drink a toast to Don when you do.

This recipe is quite a few years old and some of the ingredients are rather hard to come by. I’ve come up with some acceptable substitutes over time and I’ll put those at the end of the recipe.

Don’s Ramos Fizzes

5 shots gin
4 shots Taverners Sweet and Sour bar mix
4 shots milk
¼ tsp. orange bitters
4-5 tsp. powdered sugar
1-2 egg whites
Schweppes Bitter Lemon
Ground nutmeg (optional)

  1. Put all of the ingredients in the bowl of a blender.
  2. Put ice in the blender until the combined ingredients and the ice are even.
  3. Blend until (reasonably) smooth.
  4. Place in the freezer for one hour before serving.
  5. To serve half-fill the glass with the fizz mixture. Add Schweppes Bitter Lemon to within a half-inch of the rim of the glass. Stir briefly. Sprinkle a little ground nutmeg on top.

I can get a really decent result in well under an hour by putting the smoothed mixture into an ice cream freezer and following the directions on the freezer. Or just wait the hour.

Any decent sweet and sour bar mix can be substituted for the Taverners Sweet and Sour Bar Mix. But Taverners is what Don always used. Schweppes Bitter Lemon is indeed available but you probably won’t find it in your local store. I have found that one part sweet and sour bar mix or Tom Collins bar mix to two parts quinine is an adequate substitute for Bitter Lemon. You can adjust it to your own taste. There is no substitute for orange bitters. If you don’t have it, leave it out—it’ll still be good (do not substitute Angostura bitters).

How much will this make? That depends on who you’re serving but for four adults you can expect to go through two recipes’ worth. We typically do around here. Happy New Year!

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