The Tasting Panel magazine

JUNE 2011

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TALES OF THE COCKTAIL A Legendary New Orleans Drink Redefi ned THE WINNING RAMOS GIN FIZZ FOR TALES IS ANNOUNCED photos by Erik Lesser offi cial cocktail. For 2011, the challenge was to bring new life to a classic New Orleans cocktail—the Ramos Gin Fizz. Recipes poured in as close to 200 bartenders from around the globe shook up their own Ramos Gin Fizzes, but in the end it was the Rangoon Gin Fizz from Atlanta mixologist Eric Simpkins that was selected as the offi cial cocktail of Tales of the Cocktail 2011. E The Rangoon Gin Fizz is a fl oral take on the original featuring Old Raj gin, lime juice, simple syrup, heavy cream, absinthe, cardamom tincture, Fee Brothers Jasmine Water and Fever Tree Lemon Tonic. Simpkins’s creation narrowly edged out the second place Polynesian Fizz cocktail created by Jonathan Smolensky, Beverage Director at George Ultra Lounge and Brix Restaurant in Vancouver and the third place fi nisher, Ramos in Rangpur, created by Cameron Bogue Beverage Director at Earl’s in Vancouver. The competition was judged by cocktail experts Lu Brow of Café Adelaide, Simon Difford of Diffords Guide, and Audrey Saunders of The Pegu Club. which is so important to me,” said competi- tion judge Lu Brow. A beautifully exotic cocktail with fl oral notes that is so inviting that I can’t wait for everyone to experience his cocktail.” “When I fi rst viewed Eric’s recipe for his Rangoon Gin Fizz, I thought each compo- nent was a perfect fi t. As a New Orleanian, his creation respects the original recipe, which is so important to me,” says competi- very year, Tales of the Cocktail challenges the inter- national cocktail community to reinterpret one classic cocktail for the chance to be named the festival’s Mixologist Eric Simpkins mixes his winning cocktail for Tales of the Cocktail 2011, the Rangoon Gin Fizz. Photographed at Holeman & Finch Public House in Atlanta. 66 / the tasting panel / june 201 1 Simpkins's cocktail will be served through- out the Tales of the Cocktail festivities, being held July 20–24. He will also receive a $1,250 cash prize. The ten fi nalist’s recipes are online at The Ramos Gin Fizz was invented in 1888 by Henry C. Ramos at the Imperial Cabinet Saloon in New Orleans and today remains of the city’s most legendary drinks. The cock- tail’s distinctive fl avor comes from a delicate combination of egg whites and orange fl ower water. The Fizz became a widely popular in America between 1900 and the 1940s, especially in New Orleans, where teams of bartenders would take turns shaking the fi zzes to keep up with demand.

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