A great classic gin cocktail that is sometimes overlooked for the Gin and Tonic is the Gin Fizz. Lemony, fresh, and frothy, there is a reason it’s remained on the cocktail list for over a century.
Where was the Gin Fizz born?
The category of fizz cocktails is one of the oldest, first found in print in Professor Jerry Thomas’s iconic Bartender’s Guide of 1876. He suggested making it with either Holland Gin, Old Tom Gin, Whiskey, Brandy and Rum. The Gin Fizz seems to have been the one to garner the most popularity and we are still drinking it today!
The Gin Fizz made an appearance in The Flowing Bowl by William Schmidt in 1892. It also was imbibed across the pond in London, found in Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book and in the French cookbook L’Art Culinaire Francais.
Especially loved in New Orleans, the Gin Fizz was rumored to be so popular that many bars had “Gin Fizz making only” bartenders – just to keep up with demand.
What is the Gin Fizz
According to the great drinks historian, David Wondrich, the Gin Fizz was known as the great hangover cure from the late 19th century to the mid 2000’s!
Originally its recipe was a combination of gin, lemon juice, and sugar syrup – all topped with soda water. It’s the same ingredients as the Tom Collins but shaken, not stirred, served without ice and in a short glass.
In the modern era, we have taken to adding in an egg white to give it a foamy top and smoother mouthfeel. You can add it in or leave it if you wish. According to Jerry Thomas, adding the egg white made it into the cocktail that he called the Silver Fizz!
For vegans, you can always substitute Aquafaba for the egg white, but more on that below!
How to Make the Gin Fizz
You need to start with the following ingredients to make the COCKTAIL
- Lemon Juice
- Sugar Syrup
- Egg white (or Aquafaba)
- Soda water
- Lemon Squeezer
Fresh ingredients are so important – so please, please, please use fresh lemon juice! I love this lemon squeezer which has holes on the bottom that fit right over the jigger, making it super easy to get the perfect amount of lemon.
- Squeeze about one lemon to add 1 oz (30ml) of Lemon Juice into a jigger and add to the shaker
I make my own sugar syrup. It takes about 2 minutes. Just measure out half of a cup (100ml) of white sugar into a pot and add the same amount of water. Heat until dissolved, let it cool, then pour into a glass container. It can keep in the fridge for months.
- Add 1 oz (30ml) of sugar syrup to the shaker.
If you are adding in the egg white or aquafaba, now is the time! Always crack the egg in a different bowl first, in case it’s a bad egg.
- Add that to the shaker
Always add in the spirit last. Just in case you made a mistake, you don’t want to waste any of that precious liquid. I always promote the use of the best spirits on the market. Don’t skimp! Invest in a good spirit and your cocktail will always be so much better.
- Finally add in 2 oz (50 or 60 ml) of gin!!
Don’t forget the Dry Shake!
Before adding the ice, close the shaker and shake it as hard as you can with just the gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white (or aquafaba). Shaking a cocktail with an egg white, at room temperature without the ice, makes it extra foamy, thus the Dry Shake!
Next fill the shaker with ice. Make sure your ice is fresh, since it can absorb the odors in your freezer. You don’t want your cocktail tasting like your leftovers!
- Strain it into a glass and top it up with soda water.
Garnish it with a lemon wheel if you wish!
Egg White vs Aquafaba
Aquafaba is name of the liquid that you can find when you open a can of chickpeas, so it’s totally vegan. This starchy water replicates the mouthfeel of the egg white in cocktails. The measurements are 2 tablespoons of Aquafaba for one egg white.
If you want to try another Gin cocktail, don’t miss:
Here is the recipe!
- 2 oz Gin
- 1 oz Sugar Syrup
- 1 oz Lemon Juice
- Soda Water
- Optional: 1 Egg White or 2 tablespoons Aquafaba
- Add the gin, sugar syrup, lemon juice and egg white or aquafaba into a shaker
- Dry Shake
- Add ice
- Shake, shake, shake until chilled
- Strain into a rocks glass
- Top with Soda Water
- Garnish with a lemon wheel!
For UK measurements, please use my handy Cocktail Measurements converter!
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