Gin Variations 2: The Gin Fizz

February 7, 2012

There’s not a lot of difference between the Gin Fizz and the Tom Collins, and a lot of confusion over what the difference is. They have the same ingredients, for sure; gin, lemon juice, sugar (or syrup) and soda water. The Fizz does often have egg white though, but this is properly called a silver fizz, and I’m guessing that as the egg makes it foam, or ‘fizz’, that is why some seize on this as a distinction.

David Wondrich’s conclusion is that basically the Collins was a tall drink with ice for drinking slowly and the Fizz was strained for knocking off rather quickly. This rings true with what else I have read. I like the Fizz, but I think I liked the Collins better. It’s a good drink, but don’t have too many. One 1890s Brooklynite apparently killed himself on Gin Fizzes. He did eat the glass as well though (for a bet), and that’s probably what did him in. It might sound like a stupid thing to do, but his judgement might have been somewhat impaired, as he had a reputation for drinking 40 Gin Fizzes a day. So go easy on them.

To get more of a different drink than the Collins, I tried the Silver Fizz.

Silver Fizz

2 oz Old Tom gin

1 oz lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp of powdered sugar

1 small egg white

soda water

lemon wedge

Dissolve half the sugar in lemon juice in the bottom of a Tom Collins glass. Add the egg white and gin. Shake well without ice (egg doesn’t mix well with ice) and hold on to the shaker tight as the egg tries to push it open. Add ice and shake again for a good 30 seconds. Strain into a narrow 6-8 ounce glass without ice. Top up with soda water. To get a little extra fizz going, add the rest of the sugar and stir again vigourously. Garnish with lemon wedge.

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3 Responses to “Gin Variations 2: The Gin Fizz”

  1. Ben Says:

    Nice work Brian. But how does it drink?

    In trying to work out the difference between the gin fizz and the Tom Collins (leaving aside the gins they were historically made with), I came to the conclusion they are the same drink, one served up in a big glass and the other on the rocks in a really big glass. (I’m sure the “fizz” just refers to the soda.)

    Are we going to see the gin rickey, gin sling and gin sour in the series? Or are you going to branch out?

  2. theboolion Says:

    I didn’t actually say how it tastes, did I? Funny I remember typing it. It’s very similar to the Collins of course – A nice refreshing alternative to a G’n’T. I could just as easily do without the egg white, and overall I preferred the Collins.

    I think you’re right, Ben, about the differences (or lack thereof). As for future drinks. I haven’t really planend ahead. Coming soon will be the ‘Cocktail’, and I might try the Ricky, Sling and Sour at some point, but I’ll definitely also be branching out.


  3. […] Gin Variations 2: The Gin Fizz (theboolion.wordpress.com) […]


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