Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Ramos [Gym] Fizz

“Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentlemen as courage.”[1] A real gentleman, therefore, is courteous in all aspects of his life. Not just at work or on a date, but in all social settings, including at the gym.

Physical fitness is a must. After all, no clothing, no matter how much you spend or how bespoke it is, will look right if you have a giant gut hanging out. (And, conversely, there is no clothing to hide that gut when you are in the bedroom.) Therefore, a regular fitness regimen consisting of both strength training and cardio/aerobics is a must for every man’s schedule. But just because you are in sweats and a tank top does not give you an excuse for leaving your manners in your locker along with your three-piece suit. Set an example for others in the gym by following these gym etiquette rules (and post this blog on the mirror for others to see!):

  • DO NOT talk on your cell phone especially while resting on or using equipment. If your need to talk on the phone is that important, go to the lobby or walk to a corner of the gym. 
  • DO wipe down the equipment after you use it. Make sure you are not leaving your sweat behind for the next person to take care of. 
  • DO NOT lounge around on the equipment and take long breaks. If you need a break between sets, stand to the side and let others work in with you. 
  • DO let others work in with you. You do not own the equipment (and never take up more than one piece at a time — you certainly do not own the entire gym). If you see someone waiting to use your machine or bench, ask if they want to work in. Just let them know how many sets you have left so they know you are not done. 
  • DO NOT bathe yourself in cologne or body spray (and, really, just don’t wear body spray) before your workout. No one wants to take a deep breath on the treadmill just to inhale a whiff of Axe Phoenix. 
  • DO wear appropriate clothing. Make sure that your shirt and pants fit. No one wants to see your belly (or worse) hanging out. 
  • DO NOT grunt or make other loud noises. It is not necessary. 
  • Likewise, DO NOT drop the weights or the stack at the end of your set. If you cannot control the weights, take the hint and use lighter ones.  
  • DO accept requests to lend a spot, and it is acceptable to make your own requests. Just don’t do it while someone is in the middle of a set. 
  • DO NOT get too close to others when they are working out. Be mindful of your surroundings (especially if you are wearing headphones), and make sure that you aren’t crowding others. Nothing is more distracting when working out than worrying if the person next to you is going to drop a weight on you or hit your bar. 
  • DO stay home if you are sick. Please do not spread your germs by coughing and sneezing on the weights. 
  • DO NOT leave your weights so that someone else has to put them away. Re-rack your dumbbells, and strip the weights from your bar when you are done. 
If you have followed these rules, then I would say that you have earned a post-workout cocktail (hopefully with that girl you noticed looking at you while doing abs). But your post-workout cocktail should not undo all of your hard work. In fact, if possible, find a cocktail with a little protein in it and one that will give you a little workout while mixing. Thankfully, I know just the drink: the Ramos Gin Fizz.

The drink was invented in 1888 by Henry C. Ramos at his bar, the Imperial Cabinet Saloon, in New Orleans, and was originally called the New Orleans Fizz. In its hay day, the bar was known to have over 20 bartenders working at once, making nothing but the Ramos Gin Fizz—and still struggling to keep up with the demand (mainly because of the 12 minute prep time it originally took to make this drink)!

Now, before I share one of my all-time favorite drinks with you, on behalf of my friends behind the mahogany, please promise that you will not order this drink when the bar is busy. In fact, I ask permission from the bartender before I order this drink, as it is still not a quick one to concoct and will very likely lead to another customer getting envious of yours and ordering his own. Therefore, if you want to ensure that you are able to get a second round of cocktails that night, be courteous and ask if the bartender has time and would mind making you this amazing drink.

2 oz. Plymouth or Bombay Dry gin
1 oz. heavy cream (do not try to substitute with half-and-half)
1 egg white
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. lime juice
1 tbsp simple syrup
2 to 3 drops orange blossom water (I prefer Nielsen-Massey)[2]
1 oz. club soda

Fill a cocktail shaker with all of the ingredients except the club soda. Dry shake (no ice) the shaker for at least 1 minute in order to emulsify the egg white. A trick that I sometimes use to speed the process is to take the spring off a Hawthorne strainer and put it in the shaker, which acts like a whisk.

Then add plenty of cracked ice to the shaker and continue to shake vigorously for a minimum of two minutes. It should be noted that many bartenders pride themselves on shaking this drink for at least 5 minutes (I once had a bartender at The Beagle shake mine for 10 minutes!), so don’t wimp out. The goal is to pour a light and frothy cocktail.

Strain into a chilled Collins glass, and add the club soda until an inch or so from the top.

David Wondrich proclaimed that “to sip a Ramos Fizz on a hot day is to step into a sepia-toned world peopled with slim, brown-eyed beauties who smell of magnolias and freshly laundered linen, and tall, mustachioed gentlemen who never seem to work and will kill you if you ask them why.” I can’t top that sentiment, so I won’t even try.

[1] So sayeth Theodore Roosevelt.
[2] Orange flower water is altogether different than orange juice or orange liqueur so do not try to substitute this ingredient. 

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