Hoffman House Fizz – Recipe from David Embury’s ‘The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks’

HOFFMAN HOUSE FIZZ Gin fizz with maraschino used in place of sugar syrup and with a tablespoonful sweet cream and a teaspoonful orange juice added. 

This is also sometimes called the Grand Royal.

Built in the late 1800’s the Hoffman House Hotel just off Madison Square was the stylish place to go of its day, with high ceilings, mahogany panels, Turkish rugs and marble and bronze statues. It was most famous however for an enormous painting called Nymphs and Satyr. This 8ft high delight became the image of the hotel and adorned cigar boxes and other paraphernalia, it was soon licensed for a price, and used to add credibility to all sorts of consumables, with whiskey and tobacco at the forefront. So used was it that it became a ‘must visit’ tourist attraction for out of towners which no doubt improved the Hoffman’s coffers. In 1901 the painting was bought and stored by someone hoping to keep its ‘offensive’ content away from the impressionable public, thankfully after it had gathered dust for a couple of decades it was bought and now graces one of the walls at the Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts as there most important piece.

All of those art tourists needed to be fed and watered, and the bar at the Hoffman House employed 17 for each shift doling out the best that money could buy, and along with a Hoffman House cocktail (essentially a dry martini with a dash of orange bitters) the Hoffman House Fizz graced many a table.

It’s a great drink, has the same froth that an egg cream carries with the soda lifting up the cream proteins to create a light ‘meringue’ on top. The recipe seems a little similar to a Ramos Gin Fizz with a couple of tweaks, although without the egg it’s a lot lighter, and doesn’t need quite the same long never-ending shake. It’s a great little drink, with a good visual element to it, although a little tricky to drink without a straw or a spoon, it might even be better in a coupe.