Every year Tales of the Cocktail® challenges the international cocktail community to reinterpret one classic cocktail for the chance to be named the festival’s official cocktail. For 2011, the challenge was to bring new life to a classic New Orleans cocktail, The Ramos Gin Fizz. Recipes poured in from around the globe. Close to 200 bartenders from around the world shook up their own Ramos Gin Fizzes, but in the end it was the Rangoon Gin Fizz from Atlanta bartender Eric Simpkins that has been named the Official Cocktail of Tales of the Cocktail® 2011.
The Rangoon Gin Fizz is a floral take on the original, featuring Old Raj gin, lime juice, simple syrup, heavy cream, absinthe, cardamom tincture, Fee Brothers Jasmine water and Fever Tree Lemon Tonic. Simpkins’s creation narrowly edged out the second place Polynesian Fizz cocktail created by Jonathan Smolensky, Beverage Director at George Ultra Lounge and Brix Restaurant in Vancouver and the third place finisher, Ramos in Rangpur, created by Cameron Bogue Beverage Director at Earl’s in Vancouver. Cocktail experts including Lu Brow of Café Adelaide, Simon Difford of Diffords Guide, and Audrey Saunders of The Pegu Club judged the competition.
“When I first viewed Eric’s recipe for his Rangoon Gin Fizz, I thought each component was a perfect fit. As a New Orleanian, Simpkin’s creation respects the original recipe, which is so important to me. A beautifully exotic cocktail with floral notes that is so inviting that I can’t wait for everyone to experience his cocktail.” said competition judge, Lu Brow.
Simpkins’ cocktail will be served throughout the Tales of the Cocktail® festivities, being held July 20-24, and will be featured in the summer issue of The Tasting Panel magazine. He will also receive a $1,250 cash prize.
Rangoon Gin Fizz will make its debut at the Native Spirits Viewing Party on April 21 and will be featured throughout Tales of the Cocktail® 2011.