Ramos Gin Fizz and Dead Reckoning

The Celluloid Pantry

Pin it button big

A delicately floral-scented cocktail with a smooth, creamy finish, and the heady kick of gin, the Ramos Gin Fizz is the perfect drink for a Southern femme fatale. Invented in 1888 by Henrico C. Ramos at the Imperial Cabinet Saloon in New Orleans, the formula for this drink was a closely-guarded secret for many years. But when the saloon closed in 1920 under Prohibition, Henrico's brother, Charles Henry Ramos, shared the recipe with the public in consolation.

In the post-WWII film noir, Dead Reckoning (1947), Rip Murdock (Humphrey Bogart) is a cynical ex-paratrooper determined to clear his murdered war buddy's, Johnny Drake's, name so that he might receive the posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor that is his due. Murdock’s investigation brings him straight to Johnny's girl, Coral Chandler (Lizbeth Scott), a nightclub singer with Southern roots and a checkered past.

With a signature song ("Either It's Love Or It Isn't"), and a signature perfume (Jasmine), it comes as no surprise that Coral should have a signature drink, the Ramos Gin Fizz. "Nobody can make them the way you can," she tells Mike the bartender, who was one of Johnny's only friends.

In spite of himself, the hard-bitten Murdock soon falls for Coral too. He knows his rye and water is drugged, but still he drinks it. And Coral's Ramos Gin Fizz? The next day, she swears it was too…

Ramos Gin Fizz (a.k.a. New Orleans Gin Fizz)

Makes one cocktail

1 3/4 oz. gin
Juice of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 dashes orange-flower water (available at Kalustyan's in NYC)
1 egg white
1 3/4 oz. light cream
1 teaspoon superfine sugar
Club soda (optional)

Combine all ingredients (except for club soda) in a cocktail shaker over ice and agitate vigorously for at least one minute (or 40 shakes). Strain into a tall glass and top with soda water. Stir gently to combine. Garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint.


The Celluloid Pantry is a classic column that ran on The Kitchn from 2006 through 2007 that revisited many iconic moments of food and drink in films. We're taking a trip back through some of our favorites this month, in anticipation of this year's crop of Oscars nominations. Enjoy!