Cocktail: Fizz

a sour spin-off for a range of seasons

width="100%"
A late summer fizz: Gin, lime, strawberry-peach syrup, egg white, coconut milk.

Seasonal Shifts

Here in Montana, snow has come to the mountains. It’s picturesque. It’s exciting. (For skiers. Foreboding for shovelers.) And it’s a visible signal that the entire landscape will soon transform.

The cocktail landscape, that is. Dark liquors are at the ready, but it’s not quite toddy time: this is your last chance to serve the bubbly cocktails of summer.

Seasonal Sips

One such cocktail is the fizz, and it has a seasonal silver lining. With options for egg and cream, fizzes can be built with enough substance to carry you deep into autumn. So how do we construct this transitional tipple? If you’re sour-savvy, it’s simple:

Fizz: a standard sour, shaken with optional cream, plus half again as much seltzer.

It’s a link (both hyper- and conceptual) worth following: conceiving this drink as a sour spin-off will ease recipe recall. What’s more, the parent cocktail’s near-infinite adaptability lays a versatile foundation for customization. Imagine the possibilities as you peruse the full recipe:

shake vigorously:
4 parts liquor
2 parts citrus
1 part syrup
(optional) 1 part egg white
(optional) 1 part cream
add gently:
4 parts seltzer

Fizz Twists

The simplest classic incarnation is the Gin Fizz—without additional adjectives, it’s essentially a bubbly gimlet, or a Collins with no rocks and less seltzer. A Silver Gin Fizz adds egg white, while the Ramos Gin Fizz includes both options: egg white and half-and-half.

It was still t-shirt weather when I tested the recipe, so I used gin, fresh-squeezed lime, and homemade strawberry peach syrup. I included the egg white, and used coconut milk to add creaminess for lactose-free companions—which added up to an almost tropical concoction celebrating the end of the temperate.

But as the leaves change and your interests shift, there’s no reason you can’t drift from gin. Follow this structure, and a fizz it will be. Take for example Nelson’s White Whiskey Fizz: with white whiskey, citrus-vanilla liqueur, heavy cream, and chocolate bitters, it’s an almost egg-noggy take on the genre, with enough warming richness and festive effervescence to be deployed well into the holidays.

Fizz Tips

Liquor: Clear spirits yield the purest coloration to contrast your white head of foam.

Citrus & Syrup: See sours>citrus and sours>syrup for an introduction to a few of the many options.

The Shake: This is not the time to stir. A fizz is characterized by a frothy head, which you’ll get by adding extra vigor to your dry (post egg, pre ice) and/or or final shakes—especially if you’ve included the optional animal products.

The Serve: Fizzes are always served up; if you want rocks, you’re making a Collins.

Seltzer: Confused about carbonated water? You’re not alone. Seltzer is purest and thus most versatile—it’s simply water and bubbles. Club soda is close. Tonic is nowhere near: bitter and heavily sweetened. Ginger beer or ale could be fun, but now you’re making a mule.

They say you taste first with the eyes, and if you've given this recipe a go, we'd all love a visual nibble. What aggressive improvisation did you apply? Did it succeed brilliantly or fail spectacularly? To show off your marvel (or mess), dust off your smartphone:

Post your pic to Instagram, tagged with
to add your dish to the virtual feast below.