Stirred and Shaken

The white gin fizz cocktail contrasts sharply with the dark marble bar at Magnolia Bar & Grill [6000 Richmond Ave., (713)781-6207]. The magnificent wooden bar originally was built in 1898 for a saloon in San Francisco, the bartender tells us. There is a peacock feather pattern on the capitals and cornstalks carved into the columns. I ask the bartender if he knows how to make a Ramos gin fizz, a Crescent City cocktail that was created around the same time as the bar. He says he can. I wonder aloud if he has ever worked in New Orleans. "No," he says, "but I've done some drinking there."

Magnolia's Ramos gin fizz: Invented by Henry Ramos at a New Orleans restaurant in 1888, this milky cocktail is a famous hangover remedy. You're supposed to scent a Ramos gin fizz with orange flower water, but few bars or liquor stores stock this old ingredient anymore. "I just add a dash of Cointreau," says the bartender at Magnolia. "You'd never know the difference."

1 tablespoon powdered sugar
3 drops orange flower water (or Cointreau)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 shot Bombay Sapphire gin
1 egg white
1 shot half-and-half
1 shot club soda

Fill a shaker half full with ice. Add all the ingredients on the list in order. Shake well until the drink is frothy. Strain into a tall glass. Makes one.

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