Gin was Mother's Milk to Her

Recipe for a Gin Fizz: gin, lemon juice, sugar, soda water. Stir with ice in a tall glass.

Recipe for a Tom Collins: gin, lemon juice, sugar, soda water. Stir with ice in a Collins glass. Maybe stick a cherry in it.

Anyone else think this is somewhat fishy?
Can I pour you a refreshing “Ukulele Ike” ? My own invention…chilled gin with a touch of vermouth, served with an olive in, oh, let’s say, a martini glass?


Actually, a fizz almost always has an egg white in it as well. I know–eww! Many drink recipes are almost exactly the same; I know about 7 different drinks that are rum, cointreau and lemon juice, just slightly different proportions.

“Eppur, si muove!” - Galileo Galilei

No, that there’s the real recipe for a Gin Fizz.

If you put an egg white in it, you have a Silver Gin Fizz.

If you continue further down the road to Hell and add orange-flower water and cream to a Silver Gin Fizz, you have a Ramos Gin Fizz, inexplicably popular in late 19th century New Orleans.

I suppose the General Question I was groping for in the OP is, how did Mr. Collins get away with it? Can I get away with it? Can the “Ukulele Ike” enter the Straight Dope pantry, up there next to the One Hundred Per Cent Pure Beef Brand Dessicated Corn Husks?

Huh, all my fizzes have had egg white. Well, it’s not a sure thing that it was named after a Mr. Tom Collins; the “Tom” may have been a reference to Old Tom gin. That may be the difference between the two drinks…maybe one used Old Tom and the other english gin.

As to getting that fine-sounding drink named after you, go ahead and give it a try. :wink: I doubt the American Bartender’s Association would sue. Maybe you can get all SDers to start refering it as a “Uke” and it’ll catch on.

“Eppur, si muove!” - Galileo Galilei

can I assume that a Gin Fizz and a Sloe Gin Fizz are two different drinks? Sloe Gin is a different alcohol, right? I do know the drink is slightly pink, pretty fruity and a little deceiving IIRC. (Drink a few sitting down, chatting and then stand up ;)).


In the words of Stephen Sondheim, “Ya gotta get a gimmick…” A ukulele shaped glass? A bit of pineapple instead of the olive? Printing your own book of cocktail recipes?

Ah, drink recipies. Don’t know about gin fizzes (fizzi?), but the one that bugs me no end is the martini. Lately, every time I’ve ordered one I get a series of questions: Gin? Yes. On the rocks? No. Olive? Yes. Tabasco? On and on …

Waiters/bartenders of the world, this is for you: a martini is gin with just a tiny touch of vermouth, shaken or stirred (don’t care) with ice, decanted into a proper glass without the ice and with two or three fresh green olives (depending on size). Anything else, while probably an agreeable refreshment, is not a martini. Serve it all you want, but call it something else, please.

Oh, and please do not give me those forty three year old olives - those can be really nasty …

Dilbert: But that would be dating myself
Dogbert: Well, it’s not like anyone else would date you

Okay, so you can’t underline here …

Dilbert: But that would be dating myself
Dogbert: Well, it’s not like anyone else would date you

Yeah, sloe gin is diferent from gin–kind of fruity made from sloe berries. I once got extrememly drunk off sloe gin–it was a nightmare. I’ll never forget that night.

What little I remember of it, anyway.

Actually, you can, check out Louie’s html tutorial @

According to this site the difference is fruit.

Gin Fizz

2 oz Gin
juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 tsp Powdered sugar
Carbonated water

Shake gin, juice of lemon, and powdered sugar with ice and strain into a highball glass over two ice cubes. Fill with carbonated water, stir, and serve.

Tom Collins

2 oz Gin
1 oz Lemon juice
1 tsp Sugar (superfine)
3 oz Club soda
1 Maraschino cherry
1 Orange slice

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Shake well. Strain into a collins glass alomst filled with ice cubes. Add the club soda. Stir and garnish with the cherry and the orange slice.

Ike, have you considered changing your name to “Rickey”?

Ahhhh…the subtle difference between a powdered sweetener and a “superfine” one.

I’ve never tended bar, but isn’t the orange slice, maraschino cherry, etc, usually referred to as “garbage” ? I ask the barkeep to eliminate the fruit on those very rare occasions when I order an old-fashioned or a Collins. If I wanted fruit salad, damn it, I’d’a gone to a delicatessen.

aseymayo…no one’s ever called me Rickey, but I have on occasion been called a Horse’s Neck. Or something like that.


I have bartended on and off for about 15 years. I have only made about 3 or 4 gin fizzes and I made them with gin, 7-up, and a splash of sour (sour and 7 shaken vigorously gives a nice, lasting, foamy head similar to merangue). Collins’s, OTOH, are farily popular. I make them with gin (actually vodka is more popular), 7, tonic, and a splash of sour. The tonic makes a big difference as well as the lack of vigorous shaking. I put a cherry in both drinks.

As bars these days rarely stock powdered sugar, or any number of other ingredients the old recipes call for, bartenders have developed standard substitutes. Sloe Gin for dutch cherry liquour as in a Singapor Sling. 7-up for powdered sugar and club soda. Sour for lemon juice. Where I now live, in Minnesota, bars do not carry 43 (vanilla liquour) so they substitute almond. Drink recipes also vary greatly between regions. I submit to you 3 different regional recipes for Sex on the Beach.

Minnesota - vodka, Rasberry, Malibu, oj, grenadine, cream.

NYC - vodka, peach, oj, cran

Most of the east coast - Chambord, Midori, pineapple

I have probably created and named thousands of different drinks over the years the only one which has caught on is the flinstone vitamin shot (Tequila, Rasberry, sour), which mostly got popular because I served actual vitamins with them and people were impressed with the amazing duplication of the powdery aftertaste. So, Uke if you want to get your name on a drink you need a gimmick or the backing of a major liquour brand.

If men had wings,
and bore black feathers,
few of them would be clever enough to be crows.

  • Rev. Henry Ward Beecher

Sorry, my proofing is apparently not so good today.

farily = fairly
flinstone = flintstone

There’s probably more but you get the idea.

Okay, so if I want to create a new cocktail today, I need Seagram’s or Bacardi behind me; understood.

But how did it work in the old days?

Ernest Hemingway bellies up to the bar in Havana and calls for a Gimlet.

“Out of gin today, Mr. Hemingway. F. Scott and Zelda were in this morning. How about if I use rum?”

“A rum Gimlet? Sounds terrible. How about you call it a Daiquiri?”


Cabbage: Yeah, sloe gin is diferent from gin–kind of fruity made from sloe berries. I once got extrememly drunk off sloe gin–it was a nightmare. I’ll never forget that night.
What little I remember of it, anyway.

You too!? Compadre!

At my first adult (drinking) New Year’s party, I discovered Sloe Gin. Got <istupidly* drunk. The stuff goes down too easily.

That was supposed to say “stupidly drunk”.

If you get famous enough, Uke, you can name a variation of a drink like Ernie did. That method would probably still work today. It would help if you drank yourself to death, too. Here’s the Hemingway Daiquiri recipe, if anyone’s interested (it’s quite tasty):

1 1/2 ounces light rum
1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
3/4 ounce lime juice
1/4 ounce grapefruit juice

“Eppur, si muove!” - Galileo Galilei

Thank you, Gaudere…I LOVE booze trivia, and had no idea there was a daiquiri named after Hemingway. The rum, the lime, the grapefruit, all sound good…

…as for the maraschino liqueur, however. Makes one revise slightly his opinion of the Big Guy, doesn’t it? Like coming across a photo of him in his wife’s underpants.