The Fizz is another in the Old Stand-By category of cocktails. Fizzes were most likely first invented shortly after the appearance of carbonated water (club soda, seltzer water, sparkling water).
Carbonated water and the method to make it was discovered by Joseph Priestley when he suspended a bowl of water above a beer vat. He published his method to create carbonated water in 1772 in a paper titled Impregnating Water with Fixed Air.(10)
The Fizz is similar to a Sour in that it has a base liquor, sweet, and sour ingredient. But, to make it a Fizz the drink is served in highball glass filled with ice and topped with club soda. The club soda makes it fizz, hense the name. The most basic and probably the first Fizz is the Gin Fizz.
2 parts Gin
1 part Simple Syrup
.75 parts Lemon Juice
Fill Club Soda
In a highball glass add the first three ingredients. Pack the glass full of ice then top the glass off with the club soda and stir.
A Tequila, Scotch, Bourbon, Rum, Vodka, Sloe Gin, etc... Fizz can be made in the same fashion just replace the Gin with the other base liquor. However there are quite a few other cocktails that use the Fizz modifier in the name, for example: Texas Fizz, Pineapple Fizz, South Side Fizz, and so on. But probably the most famous Fizz is called the Ramos Gin Fizz.
Sometimes called the New Orleans Fizz, Henry Ramos invented it back in 1888 down in the Big Easy. He and his brothers kept the recipe a secret until the late 1920's. (11) Its been said that in its hay-day in New Orleans the cocktail was made by the gallon and served to thirsty patrons who lined up down the sidewalk.
Ramos Gin Fizz:
1.5 parts Gin
.5 part Lemon Juice
.5 part Lime Juice
.5 part Cream
1 Egg White
1 Tbs Powdered Sugar
4 dashes Orange Flower Water
.25 part Club Soda
Shake all but the last ingredient with ice for a least one minute and pour into a highball glass. Then top with the club soda.
Fizzes are not ordered very often at bars these days. So, if you do order one don't be surprised if you get something unlike what you make at home. And, just like the Sour you are very likely to be served this drink using a Sour Mix.
Personally, I'm not a huge fan of club soda. I find the taste of it undesirable and often substitute ginger ale or tonic water, but those are used in other stand-bys entirely. However, many people find it refreshing. So give the Fizz a try and see if you like it or perhaps another old stand-by will strike your fancy.