Happy Hour: The Grand Royal Fizz & Popcorn

Welcome to Happy Hour my darlings!  You have made it through the week and now it is time to relax. Your favorite snazzy cocktail lounge may not be open, but your kitchen is. And there is something to be said for kicking off your shoes and getting comfortable at home after a long week.

Tonight my babydoll and I are settling in with a Fizz.  I know some of you saw the name and immediately thought champagne.

Not tonight though.  Tonight we will be imbibing a drink called a Fizz that has nothing to do with champagne. It is called a fizz because of the added carbonated water.  The fizz isn’t around much these days but was apparently all the rage in the US between 1900 and 1940. Which is quite a long time for a drink to remain on the to be ordered list and so fashionable or not, it deserves respect.

I actually had my first Gin Fizz in New Orleans where it was once massively popular.  There are still places that serve it, but I don’t think they are as popular anymore. Which is a shame as I recall it being delicious. Like fashion, drinks fall in and out of favor.  It is one of the reasons I like old cocktail manuals.  You can see what was popular when and get a taste of a different era as well as branching out from your own personal tried and true drink of choice.

It’s always nice to have options.

Tonight’s fizz is still gin based. And unlike my martini it will have the dickens shaken out of it.  While you can still taste the components of the gin, it is a background note to the other ingredients. So…To the recipe.

To a martini shaker add:

The juice of half a lemon (about a tablespoon)

½ Tablespoon of powdered (icing) sugar

1 shot of gin (I use the large side of the jigger since mine is double sided. The big side can contain two ounces, the small 1 oz)

1-2 tablespoons of maraschino cherry juice to taste (I prefer mine closer to 1 than 2, but that is a taste call)

The juice of half a lime (about half a tablespoon)

I tablespoon of cream

Once everything is inside the shaker add the top and shake it until it is thoroughly mixed.  Strain it into a glass and top off with soda water (I use the water from my Soda Stream rather than getting any separate soda water).  Be very careful when adding the water and go slow.

Actually that wasn’t warning enough.

GO SLOW when adding the water.

The foam rises quickly on this drink

It’s like adding root beer to ice cream to make a float.  The cream in the drink meets the bubbles in the water and creates a foam.  You can very easily shoot up past the top of your glass and make a mess. To garnish I just dropped a maraschino cherry into the glass.  It sinks to the bottom of course, but then at the end of the drink you get a gin soaked maraschino cherry, so that’s not a bad thing.

The glass is of course your call. I love the shape of this glass. I have no idea where I picked it up but it fits comfortably in the hand and I really find the shape of it pleasing. For those looking at measurements This is exactly an eight ounce glass. Clearly the foam takes you a little past the rim but if you fill the glass with water and stop pouring before you risk sloshing over the sides it fits exactly 8 oz.

But it is happy hour and it isn’t all about the drinks, there is food to consider as well.

When deciding what to serve with this, my baby doll and I tossed around ideas.  It sounded sweet and so we thought something salty would do well with it.  I was all up for a kitchen creation, but he suggested popcorn and I have to say it sounded just about perfect. So with our cold sweet drink, we went with hot, salty popcorn.

The botanical bite of the gin kept the drink from being overly sweet.  It was however a sweet drink and to be honest, I don’t think I’d want more than one. It seems like a drink where one is delightful and two is a bit too much sugar. I am however not an overly sweet person. I tend to lean more savory. A friend of mine who normally leans into sweet cocktails said that she could easily have several. She also said she would probably regret having several later on, but that they are easy to drink.

Since the point is to have one drink at the end of the week with my baby, I’m perfectly fine with the fact that I can only have one without wanting another. This is about a slight indulgence, not over indulgence after all.

I would make it again and I would still make certain to serve it with something salty.  The popcorn worked perfectly and was super simple since we went with a microwaved bag. Our weekly home happy hour is more about a delightful treat for us at the end of a week than it is about needing to be over the top.  Don’t get me wrong, some weeks, I do go a bit over the top.  This week, there was no need.  The cocktail was the star and it just needed a backup singer rather than someone to sing a duet.

My budby popcorn was happy to in the role of supporting cast to the diva drink. And really with fast moving foam like that, you know the drink is a diva.

I don’t know what you have planned tonight, but I hope you take some time out to slow down, and take a moment for a few simple pleasures at the end of the work week. The week is done and happy hour is the brief pause at the end. Like a period at the end of a sentence.  This week the punctuation was the Grand Royal Fizz, or at least this version of it. Hopefully next week’s will be just as fun, even if it isn’t cherry flavored.

No Fine Print Wine

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