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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Sunday, August 27, 2023


I know how I’m going to get in shape. Cocktails.

Bear with me… it will all become clear.

In New Orleans, we purchased several lovely things from the Sazerac House, among them, Ramos Gin. Ramos, which you may recognize from the Ramos Gin Fizz. It is a cocktail that you don’t see on menus for very good reason. It requires a LOT of shaking.

If you are audacious enough to order one, you can expect to tip your bartender very well. I have never made one but with my new purchase it seemed only fitting.

You make this cocktail by putting the gin in a shaker with lemon and lime juices, simple syrup, orange water, heavy cream and an egg white. Quite possibly you know what happens to heavy cream and egg whites when agitated enough.

This is basically the meringue of cocktails. But to get there, you really, really, really have to shake.

I was very excited to try it at home. I lined up all my ingredients, got my Boston shaker out – no lame cobbler shaker for this event! – and got busy.

I shook for five straight minutes.

By the time I was done my arms felt like Jell-O and my hands were frozen from holding onto the shaker. I poured my drink into a glass, topped it with seltzer and waited for the glorious fizz.

It was more like a fizzle.

I made a sad clown face but hey, it’s a cocktail, so I’ll drink it. The first sip was tasty. Lemon-limey. The second sip was the same but I hadn’t come for lemon-lime, I’d come for gin. It was strangely bland. Did I like this cocktail once?

By the third sip I started looking up alternative recipes online, thinking maybe there was something different out there and I needed to add a little of this or more of that. Nope, all recipes were the same.

Ralph tried it and shrugged.

By the fifth sip I discovered the problem.

I had forgotten to add the gin.

In all my excitement about separating out egg whites and juicing lemons, I had made what amounted to a frothy lemon-lime soda.

That is way more than sad clown. That is outraged clown. That is hang head in shame clown.

Not to be deterred, I dumped in two ounces of gin and drank it anyway. And decided to try it again.

More egg whites. More cream. GIN!

I took a few pointers from Kevin, who I shared my foibles with and swore to secrecy to never speak of my ginless fizz. The same goes for you. Not a word!

Kevin suggested that I dry shake for five minutes, then wet shake for five more.

I’d like to go on record and say that if you have never shaken a cocktail for five minutes, let alone ten, it is not something you want to do without consulting your doctor first. I got a serious workout.

When you shake a cocktail for ten straight minutes, your arms are going to get the best workout of their lives. You’ve got to hold the top and the bottom of the shaker together, which is a feat in itself, all while frothing up this egg white into glorious meringue without the benefit of an electric mixer.

By default, your core is engaged, so this is also great for your abs and your back. And if you don’t squeeze your butt cheeks together there is going to be a lot of jiggle. Add a point for glutes.

It’s a full body workout.

And I got TWO of them today.

My second cocktail fizzed even worse than the first. I got a great froth on the shaking but I suspect my seltzer was kaput. It’s been in the fridge since before we went to New Orleans so it probably lost a lot of its mojo.

The good news is that a Ramos Gin Fizz with actual gin is a lot tastier. And think about it. I drank all that protein from the egg whites, which is great for building muscle!

This sounds like a win all around.

It’s hard to say whether it will get easier or harder to shake the more I drink, but this is a question for science.

Only one way to find out.

I fully expect that if I keep this up I will lose about ten pounds and look like Sylvester Stallone in a week. I got a most excellent workout and it was one that didn’t even feel like exercise.

Now, I’ve got a brand new bottle of seltzer in the pantry so I am going to see if it makes a difference in my third drink. I also see a lot of omelets in my future.

One final tip for any other cocktail-loving women who are thinking of attempting this workout: wear a bra. Trust me on that one.

Photo: my Ramos Fizzless Gin, but at least it had gin in it! This is probably why Ralph sticks to his Boulvardier.