“I’m not a big fan of creamy cocktails,” says Aki Eguchi, the bar program director for Singapore’s lauded Jigger & Pony Group and drinks maverick behind one of the city’s most innovative cocktails, a Crystal Ramos Gin Fizz.
Eguchi created the drink back in 2015, when Gibson, currently No. 15 on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list, debuted. He was interested in reformulating a traditionally creamy cocktail into a lighter, more sessionable version. He initially considered clarifying a Piña Colada or Grasshopper but admits “they didn’t sound right to me."
Instead, Eguchi decided to pursue rejiggering the Ramos Gin Fizz––the gin, cream and orange flower tipple invented in New Orleans back in 1888––through clarification. And now, four years later, this transparent tipple has become one of the group’s most iconic cocktails, currently on offer at Jigger & Pony, the group’s namesake bar and one that claims ninth place on Asia’s 50 Best Bars list.
Named after the double-coned tool that bartenders use to accurately measure spirits, Jigger & Pony relocated from its original home in Chinatown to a more spacious new expanse in Tanjong Pagar’s Amara hotel last year. And with that transition, the bar team introduced a new menu divided into various sections, one of which includes customer favorites from across the Jigger & Pony family of bars: Enter the Crystal Ramos Gin Fizz. Bearing the floral flavors of a traditional Ramos Gin Fizz, conveyed through spices and citrus peel, with a full body but light mouthfeel and a garnish of orange blossom bubbles, Eguchi’s progressive take on one of the world’s most celebrated cocktails is a revelation.
- 1 1/4 cups Tanqueray gin
- 6 3/4 cups clarified gin milk punch*
- Garnish: orange blossom bubbles**
In a carbonator bottle, combine gin, clarified gin milk punch and 3/4 cup water and carbonate.
Pour into a large tulip glass.
Add one block of ice.
Garnish with orange blossom bubbles.
*Clarified gin milk punch: Combine 2 1/2 cups green tea, 3 1/3 cups Tanqueray gin, 300 g sugar, 1 cup Banks 5 Island Blend rum, 2/3 cup Sailor Jerry rum, 3 oz Koko Kanu rum, 3 oz La Fée bohemian-style absinthe, 2 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice, 18 pieces of 1x5 cm orange peel, 9 pieces of 1x5 cm lemon peel, 18 cloves, 1 1/2 pieces of star anise and 1 cinnamon stick in a large bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar. Cover and transfer to fridge for 12 hours to let ingredients infuse. Pour mixture through a sieve to separate spices and peels and discard, reserving spiced liquid infusion. Heat 1 1/4 cup milk in a pan over medium heat until it reaches 140 degrees F, then pour into spiced liquid infusion. Stir and transfer mixture to fridge for 12 hours. Remove liquid from fridge and strain through cheesecloth into large bowl. According to volume, set aside 1 g agar agar for every 3 3/4 oz liquid. In a pan, combine agar agar with 1/3 of liquid. Slowly heat mixture to 131 degrees F, then add remaining 2/3 of liquid into pan. Stir. Transfer mixture to fridge and let cool for 3 hours. Strain mixture through a coffee filter.
**Orange blossom bubbles: Combine 2 cups water, 1 3/4 oz orange blossom water, 2.5 g Versawhip and 1.2 g xanthan gum in a bowl. Using a hand blender, blend ingredients to dissolve. Use aquarium air pump to force air into liquid and create bubbles.