Silver Fiz – Jerry Thomas ‘The Bon Vivants Companion’
Use large bar glass
One tablespoonful of pulverized white sugar.
One wineglass of Old Tom gin.
Two or three small lumps of ice.
Three dashes of lemon or lime juice.
The white of one egg.
SHAKE up thoroughly, strain into a medium bar glass, and fill it up with seltzer water.
Twenty years ago, while working in Sak bar on Greek Street in Soho I decided I wanted to learn more about cocktails and picked up Salvatore Calabrese’s ‘Classic Cocktails’ on the way to work one day, its not a massively huge book, but has a nice number of drinks, each with an image and a page of info on it so is easy to digest. I decided to work my way through it and each day turned up to work with a new drink from inside and tried to sell that drink to everyone who walked through the door. This was the best way to learn drinks, and I still remember recipes from that book, and from that bar because of it. It taught me the simple elegance of less is more with cocktails, and what happens when you use egg white in a drink and then add soda. I seem to remember there was a section on the Gin Fizz, or Tom Collins, and it then ran through all the other Fiz’s, egg white for a Silver Fiz, yolk for a Golden, and the whole thing for a Royal Fiz.
I remember being hesitant at first but then on trying it had a little ‘wow’ moment which I’ve never forgotten. Working at Pharmacy with Dick Bradsell taught me all about egg white in sour style drinks, but this was a bit of a revelation, when you use it in a Fiz the texture from the egg goes through the whole drink, and if you pour it into the glass at the same tie you get a lovely head of froth on top of the drink which is perfect for sprinkling garnish on top of, like dried petals, bee pollen etc. The best way of achieving this is to pour the soda and mix from the shaker into the glass at the same time so that the streams cross, this means the liquid in the glass is instantly mixed, and you get the froth on top.
I was lazy when I made this drink and haven’t made it the way I would from behind a bar if it was for a guest. One of the key differences in my mind about a Fiz and a Collins is that a Fiz should be without ice, and in a smaller glass. I don’t have Fiz glasses at home so I’ve used a Collins glass, and added ice. Lazy. It’s a great drink, the egg white adds texture, but not any flavour and then its all gin, citrus and soda, how can you go wrong.