I can generally behave myself on beer, and wine if there isn’t bubbles involved. Gin, however, lends an air of invincibility. Invincibility followed by waves of death in the morning. One particularly infamous New Year’s Eve, after drinking a bottle of champagne, I ushered out the evening with an extra dry gin martini.
Except the bar was out of olives and cocktail glasses, so technically I drank a glass of gin. What happened next is what one might call a broach, in sailing terms. I quickly found myself in danger of capsizing, crisscrossing to “Come Fly with Me” and clinging to anything semi-stationary.
Some 2 AM scrambled eggs and cheese helped. But I’ve certainly had Saturday mornings that were more pleasant. I suppose we shouldn’t cast champagne as innocent in this tale, but that is not the point of the story.
I mention all of this because I drank a gin fizz on Friday night. A rhubarb Ramos gin fizz. Except I forgot to add soda water. So technically it was a rhubarb Ramos gin. No matter. I’m prone to a jettison of classic cocktail elements.
I followed it with pasta carbonara. Partly because I had a leftover yolk to use. And partly because, in my twenties, I may have formed an unbreakable bond between gin and eggs. Not to say things got all slant-y Sinatra. For one, I know the limits of my thirty-something liver. For two, I was in my bathrobe.
This might be my new favorite way to drink gin (the bathrobe is optional, but encouraged). I had to share it, immediately. It's frothy, and tart, and behaves a bit like a well-balanced spring creamsicle. Which I say with trepidation, because I don’t want to give the impression we’ve sugarcoated a classic.
It is flower petal pink, for certain. But also a breath of fresh air in the booze department. Dare I say something even a gin-hater could love. Which usually turns gin-lovers off, but I assure this cocktail will win most rational—and nearly all irrational—drinkers over.
Despite the name, and its appearance, it’s not incredibly difficult to make. It just doesn’t take well to impulse. You’ll need cold rhubarb syrup, for one. And also the cocktail accoutrement of a well-seasoned drinker. But the result is something a Bogart heroine could love.
Sure, a martini still has its place. But mostly when I want to hate myself in the morning.
Rhubarb Rose Ramos Gin
Adapted from Food52
for the rhubarb syrup
1 pound rhubarb stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup sugar
1-inch piece of peeled ginger root
pinch of salt
for the cocktail
2 ounces gin
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce lime juice
2 ounces rhubarb syrup
1 ounce half and half
2 drops of rose water
1 egg white
In a medium saucepan, place the rhubarb pieces, sugar, ginger, salt, and 2 cups of water. Simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally. (Reduce the heat if the liquid comes to a vigorous boil.) Cook about 35 minutes, or until the liquid reduces to slightly more than half and turns deep pink. Strain out the rhubarb pulp using a mesh strainer; save for another use. Chill the syrup.
In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Add 4 or 5 ice cubes and shake for another 30 seconds. Strain into a cocktail glass.
Makes 1 cocktail
-As is de rigueur with gin fizzes, the recipe originally called for soda water. Which is optional here. I’d start with an ounce, if you are adding it. I should also note I used half and half in place of heavy cream (simply because I always have it for my coffee). I suspect this helped to cut down on the thickness of the drink a bit, much like the soda water would. (Add the soda water after you shake and strain the cocktail.)
-Gin fizz recipes often call for orange blossom water. This one uses rose instead, which lends a subtle, soft perfume that I absolutely loved.
-The rhubarb pulp would be great on top of yogurt.