Lucky Campbell's Parliament made its long-awaited debut at the end of August, and the Dallas cocktail scene is all the richer for it. With a sprawling menu that reads like a booze-soaked manifesto and some of the best damn bartenders around, it's a must-visit for anyone who appreciates the art of a fine cocktail.
Famously labor-intensive, a request for a Ramos Gin Fizz often elicits eye-rolls from bartenders, something Lucky can't abide by: "Surely when you sign up for your first bartender job, you know that it requires a certain level of athleticism and willingness to entertain," he proclaims. "What greater drink to showcase that than the Ramos Gin Fizz?" Lucky, his partner Andrew Brimecome, and bar manager Stephen Halpin all agreed that perfecting the classic drink — which dates all the way back to 1893, when it first appeared on the cocktail menu at New Orleans' Rooesvelt Hotel — should be a priority for the Parliament menu.
Now, Parliament bartender Brad Bowden demonstrates the method behind making a perfect Ramos Gin Fizz.
"The first step in making any good Ramos or Ramos derivative is cracking the egg and delivering a good clean egg white into your shaker tin," Lucky explains. Even the tiniest amount of yolk will prevent the egg white from living up to its full foam potential.
Two ounces of cream, one ounce of lemon juice, one ounce of simple syrup, and two ounces of Ford's gin are added to the shaker along with the egg white.
The essential ingredient that gives the Ramos Gin Fizz its signature, slightly floral flavor is five drops of highly aromatic orange blossom water.
Then, the mixture is shaken "ridiculously vigorously" — or "until your arms fall off," as Lucky's recipe instructs.
Parliament's secret to the towering head of foam is a simple one: The soda water is poured into the glass first and then the shaken mix is added on top.
"Though the classic Ramos has the bartender topping the mix with soda, by adding the soda first, it fluffs the Ramos while it's being poured, thus increasing the head," Lucky explains.
The drink is then garnished with an artful orange peel garnish.
Regularly priced at $15, it's worth noting that during happy hour, (5-8 p.m. weekdays, all night on Mondays, or anytime it rains) the classic Ramos Gin Fizz can be had for a mere $7.
Parliament patrons will also find a Pistachio Ramos Fizz on the menu made with Lucky's pistachio gin, a creation from his days behind the bar at Bolsa that he refers to as his "greatest secret."
"It’s a little tricky and I’m proud to say, many of our friends have tried to reverse engineer it and been unsuccessful," he laughs. Traditional or pistachio, happy hour or no, the carefully crafted Ramos gin fizzes at Parliament are worth your drinking dollars. (Blown kisses from Bowden are free of charge.)