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Apr 09

Mad Men Monday: Gin Fizzes

by Michelle

*spoilers ahead*

That’s right. Stop reading now if you haven’t seen last evening’s episode.

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Before I get into the cocktails, was anyone else shocked when Don took a temporary turn for the dark side last night? I hadn’t expected him to sleep with Andrea, let alone strangle her. I was, of course, relieved to discover it was a fever-induced delusion. But perhaps we did take a turn for the darker side of things last night. Don has discovered that it is probably within him to kill someone who might destroy his happiness. Sally has been exposed to the “real world,” with the brutal murder of 8 nursing school students in Chicago. To combat this? Grandma just splits a sleeping pill with her. So yeah, maybe we are walking a bit on the dark side this season. I said to someone this morning that I find the 60s to be one of the most confusing times. Civil rights, the beginnings of the women’s movement,  the shadows of different wars hanging over the country like a spectre, whether it’s Viet Nam or WWII. I can’t imagine growing up in the middle of all that, and I wonder how it will affect Sally.

Then there is Joan. She has her own darkness with which to contend. In case we’d forgotten what an ass her husband is, the writers brought him back for an episode. I admit, I’d been waiting to find out he’d been killed in action. I’d forgotten that he has very low self-esteem, that he failed at landing the job of his dreams, and that he made up for the lack of faith in himself by raping his now-wife. Joan hadn’t forgotten. “You were never a good man.” Go Joanie! I was rooting for her!  I get that he re-upped because the military is the first place he’s felt useful and knowledgeable. That counts for a lot. But Joan is right; that’s just not a decision you make without consulting your wife. I wonder if now that she’s kicked him out if they’ll get a divorce or if the writers will kill him off. Either way, Joan is effectively a single mom now , and lest we forget, that’s really Roger’s baby.

From 4/8/12 episode of AMC’s Mad Men

When Joan first found out about the re-upping, they were in a restaurant with her in-laws. Everyone else ordered wine. “That one,” he said, pointing at the menu. We never did find out what wine “that one” might be. Joan, however, bucked the wine trend and ordered a gin fizz, so that’s what we’ll talk about today.

Sloe Gin Fizz (from Cocktail Times)

Sloe Gin is a red gin-based liqueur infused with sloe berries. It is usually bottled at between 15 to 30 percent alcohol by volume. Some sloe gins are made with neutral spirit flavored with sloe berries. 

  • 1 1/2 oz sloe gin
  • 1 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • egg white
  • dash of bitters
  • club soda

Garnish: orange slice and maraschino cherry
Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a tall glass over fresh ice. Garnish with orange slice and cherry.

Ramos Gin Fizz (from Gumbopages.com)

Years ago, Kevin and I spent New Year’s Eve at the cocktail lounge in Arnaud’s in New Orleans. I drank a variety of champagne cocktails, but the bartender took Kevin on his own personal tour of New Orleans cocktails. The one that sticks with me is the Ramos Gin Fizz because it was the first drink I’d seen ever made with an egg white. The drink was invented in the 1880s by Henry Ramos at New Orleans’ Meyer’s Restaurant. It later became the signature drink of the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans and New York, thanks to Governor Huey Long, who happened to be a fan. This recipe calls for shaking at least one minute. I’ve read that you can shake up to 10 minutes and because of that, it often takes a bartending team to make a large number of Ramos Gin Fizzes.

According to Gumbopages.com, you need to be very careful when adding orange flower water to the drink because it can easily overwhelm the cocktail.

  • 2 ounces gin (Old Tom gin if you can get it)
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 3 small dashes orange flower water
  • 2 drops vanilla extract (very optional; there’s some controversy over whether this was ever really used, but it does add a nice touch)
  • 1 ounce cream
  • 1 egg white
  • Soda water

Shake all ingredients except the soda water WITHOUT ICE very vigorously for at least one minute, preferably longer — the longer the better. Then add ice and shake for 1-2 minutes, as long as you can manage, until extremely cold and frothy. Strain into a tall thin glass, or a very large old fashioned glass, and top with soda water. Stir gently.

My thanks also to GumboPages, who pointed me towards this great video on making a Ramos Gin Fizz:

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Posted by Michelle at 3:30 pm in Cocktails, Mad Men Monday, Pop Culture, Television, Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments ()

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