The recipe for a Gin Fizz was first recorded in 1867 by bartender and author Jerry Thomas as a bubbly take on a traditional sour, made with lemon, sweetener, spirit, and seltzer. Variations like the Sloe Gin Fizz and Ramos Gin Fizz have popped up over time and become modern classics themselves, and fizz-inspired cocktails have arguably never been more on trend.
Some drinkers are seeking out more elaborate cocktails that go beyond the typical bar experience, and the lively and effervescent fizz definitely fits the bill. For this reason, new riffs on the Gin Fizz continue to bubble up across the country — take the frozen riff on a sloe fizz Brooklyn’s Grand Army calls the Truth or Dare, the vodka and pandan-infused Panda Fizz at Katana Kitten, or the non-alcoholic Faux Mo Fizz at Thunderbolt in L.A. Creative fizz variations often swap out traditional ingredients for those that add an additional level of dramatic flair. Whether it be employing hibiscus liqueur to achieve the striking pink color of a Hibiscus Fizz or swapping out gin for genever and Madeira to create a whimsical Birthday Cake Fizz, these eye-catching cocktails definitely bring a certain wow factor.
Fizzes are also perfect for the warmer months, as they often incorporate botanical gins, a fresh, citrus-forward flavor profile, and, of course, a lot of bubbles. So, time to grab your shakers and get ready to find your favorite new fizz for the season.
Sloe Gin Fizz
No, sloe gin is not your typical gin. It’s actually a sweet red liqueur made from sloe, a plum-like berry native to the United Kingdom. After becoming wildly popular in the U.K., the spirit hopped across the pond to California, where the first Sloe Gin Fizz was recorded in Sunset Magazine in 1898. Its popularity tapered off in the late 1900s, but it’s finally bubbling up again. Made with sloe gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white, and club soda, it is a relatively simple cocktail, but is still a crowd pleaser with its gorgeous color and velvety texture.
Ramos Gin Fizz
The Ramos Gin Fizz boasts an over-the-top tower of fluffy foam that makes it as laborious to make as it is exciting to drink. The notoriously difficult-to-execute cocktail was created in the late 19th century by New Orleans bartender Henry Charles Ramos. The secret to the visually appealing soufflé that rests on top is the addition of egg whites, cream, and an extended period of shaking, which, rumor has it, led Ramos to hire a dedicated “shaker boy” at the Imperial Cabinet bar to help emulsify these fizzy drinks to perfection.
Last Summer Fizz
This fizz evokes the fresh green flavors of spring, making it perfect for warm-weather sipping. Originally created at the now-closed Trifecta Tavern in Portland, Ore., this fizz was inspired by the Last Word and combines homemade lime cordial, green Chartreuse, and fresh mint sprigs to drive home that freshly bloomed flavor. Make sure to try this cocktail while you can, as a Chartreuse “shortage” is upon us.
Birthday Cake Ramos Fizz
Created by the now-closed award-winning Washington D.C., cocktail bar The Columbia Room to celebrate a decade of service, this fizz might be the most festive of the bunch. The cocktail swaps out the traditional London Dry Gin for genever and adds Madeira for some extra sweetness. The final touch: a specialty birthday- cake tincture concocted by former beverage manager Paul Taylor that gives the drink its nostalgic yellow sheet cake flavors. We can’t imagine a better drink to celebrate your next trip around the sun with.
The Yuzu Fizz
A great example of the increasing popularity of bars creating their own fun fizz variations, the Yuzu Fizz is a signature cocktail at NYC’s Wayan. This riff combines gin, yuzu juice, aquafaba, and Thai basil to play off the restaurant’s French-influenced Indonesian cuisine. One ingredient to admire is the aquafaba, or “chickpea water” that is used in place of egg whites to give the cocktail the same fizzy texture while keeping the drink vegan-friendly.
The Hibiscus Fizz
This variation forgoes the gin entirely and embraces two popular Mexican ingredients: tequila reposado and hibiscus. The vibrant hibiscus syrup and lime juice are perfectly complemented by the addition of half-and-half for a bright yet creamy cocktail. The stunning color and lively bubbles make this an impressive cocktail to serve guests.
The French Quarter Fizz
Another Chartreuse-driven variation, this cocktail is an homage to the Ramos Gin Fizz, which was created in the French Quarter of New Orleans. It replaces the original gin with Yellow Chartreuse, which adds a little more French flair and showcases the liqueur’s citrus and honey flavors.