Fizz Cocktail Fundamentals

standard July 23, 2016 Leave a response
Fizz Cocktail Fundamentals

When the weather is warm, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as a Fizz cocktail. Sweet, sour and simple, it’s an ideal addition to every aspiring cocktail aficionado’s repertoire. Better yet you’ll find that the basics of the Fizz can be applied to wide range of spirits to give your home bar maximum flexibility. In this post I’m going to give you all the Fizz fundamentals you’ll need to discover a new summertime cocktail favorite.

What is a Fizz Cocktail?

A Fizz cocktail is a variation on a classic sour and it can be best described as a cocktail style. In short it contains a featured spirit, an acidic juice and carbonated water. Perhaps the best part of a Fizz is that one can be made with *almost* any spirit available.

History of the Fizz

Although the history of the Fizz cocktail is inexact, it was first mentioned in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas’ Bartender’s Guide. Known as a hometown specialty of New Orleans, the Fizz was a refreshing alternative to standard cocktails of the day and saw its heyday in the early 20th Century (1900 – 1940).

Perhaps one of my favorite Fizz stories comes from the 1915 Mardi Gras. Bar owner Harry C. Ramos (namesake of the Ramos Gin Fizz) employed an army of 35 Shaker Boys to help keep up with the demand. Apparently the cocktail’s original recipe called for 12-15 minutes of shaking to be properly prepared.

Jerry Thomas' Bartenders Guide

Basics of the Fizz Cocktail

I’ve poured over hundreds of Fizz recipes in order to find a few basic rules that you can apply to your Fizz cocktails.


Generally you should be able to apply these proportions with a couple tweaks to suit your personal taste:

  • 2 Parts Liquor
  • 1 Part Simple Syrup
  • 1 Part Citrus Juice
  • 1 Part Club Soda


There’s little variation when making a Fizz cocktail. Basically the ingredients are blended in a cocktail shaker and then poured into a glass containing club soda, but it will help to know a few key tips:

  • A Thorough Shake Mandatory
  • This Drink is Served Up (No Ice)
  • Chill the Glassware
  • Chill the Cocktail Shaker
  • No Garnish

Fizz Recipes to Get You Started

Gin Fizz

Among the most popular Fizz cocktails, the Gin Fizz is delicious and easy to prepare. Typically this drink is most commonly includes egg white so it’s technically known as a Silver Fizz, but you can omit the egg white without violating any bartending laws. Oh and if you’re observant, you may notice that the Gin Fizz (without the egg white) is simply a Tom Collins without ice…


  • 1 oz Club Soda (Cold)
  • 2 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice (Fresh)
  • .75 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 Egg White
Gin Fizz Cocktail


  • Add the Club Soda to an 8 oz Collins or Highball Glass
  • Combine the Gin, Lemon Juice, Simple Syrup & Egg White in a Cocktail Shaker
  • Dry Shake (Without Ice) For 10 Seconds
  • Add 3-4 Cubes of Ice to the Cocktail Shaker; Shake Well
  • Double-Strain the Cocktail Into the Prepared Glass

Sloe Gin Fizz

A classic in its own right, the Sloe Gin Fizz uses a quintessential British spirit as a base for this warm weather favorite. Incorporating the Sloe berry that grows wild in the UK countryside, Sloe Gin has a warmth and depth of flavor that’s perfectly offset by the splash citrus. And if you’re wondering, Sloe Gin is very different from standard gin; in addition to fruit flavor, good Sloe Gin will have a nuttiness too.


  • 1 oz Club Soda (Cold)
  • 2 oz Plymouth Sloe Gin
  • 1/2 oz Lemon Juice (Fresh)
  • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup
Sloe Gin Fizz Cocktail


  • Combine the Sloe Gin, Lemon Juice and Simple Syrup in a Cocktail Shaker
  • Dry Shake (Without Ice) For 10 Seconds
  • Add 3-4 Cubes of Ice to the Cocktail Shaker; Shake Well
  • Transfer the Cocktail to an 8 oz Collins or Highball Glass
  • Top With Club Soda

Margarita Fizz

I admit that I freestyled this recipe, but it came out surprisingly well. Assuming that almost everyone would have the basic ingredients for a Margarita, I adapted the basic recipe to create the Margarita Fizz. You may need to experiment with the addition of simple syrup, but it’s sure to pleases.


  • 1 oz Club Soda (Cold)
  • 2 oz Tequila
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice (Fresh)
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau / Triple Sec
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
Margarita Fizz Cocktail


  • Combine the Tequila, Lime Juice and Cointreau / Triple Sec in a Cocktail Shaker
  • Dry Shake (Without Ice) For 10 Seconds
  • Add 3-4 Cubes of Ice to the Cocktail Shaker; Shake Well
  • Transfer the Cocktail to an 8 oz Collins or Highball Glass
  • Top With Club Soda


Warm weather demands a light, refreshing summertime cocktail and the Fizz cocktail fits the bill. Not only is it delicious, but the Fizz can be adapted in an almost unlimited number of ways. Better yet it’s a great drink on which beginning bartenders can experiment without buying a bunch of esoteric liquors.

So let your freak flag fly and raise a glass to the Fizz cocktail!


Suburban adventurer, beer lover and Cocktail Novice, Bill has a variety of interests including cooking, blogging and "bad" surfing. If you're keen to connect, give him a shout on Twitter.