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Chicago Fizz

How to Make the
Chicago Fizz Cocktail

Which rum is best for a a Chicago Fizz Cocktail?

Dos Maderas 5+5 is an excellent dark rum for the Chicago Fizz. Its rich chocolatey and dried fruit character has a natural affinity for the fruity personality of Ruby Port and helps to balance the sour citrus element. Depending on the recipe, other dark rums often specify Jamaican pot stilled rums or blackstrap rums. The 5+5 matches the body of these categories without the earthy funk due to its time spent in PX barrels.

About Dos Maderas 5+5

Dos Maderas 5+5 is a triple cask aged blended rum that spends five years in the Carribean followed by 5 years in Jerez. The time in Jerez aging is split 60/40 between Williams & Humbert Palo Cortado botas and PX botas. The result is a rich confectionary scented rum with plenty of natural baking spices, vanilla, maple, fig and chocolate notes.

About Dos Maderas 5+5

Dos Maderas 5+5 is a triple cask aged blended rum that spends five years in the Carribean followed by 5 years in Jerez. The time in Jerez aging is split 60/40 between Williams & Humbert Palo Cortado botas and PX botas. The result is a rich confectionary scented rum with plenty of natural baking spices, vanilla, maple, fig and chocolate notes.

Ingredients to make a Chicago Fizz Cocktail - Rum cocktail

1 oz. Dos Maderas 5+5

1 oz. Ruby Port

.5 oz. fresh lemon juice

.5 oz. simple syrup (1:1)

1 egg white

2-3 oz. club soda

Chicago Fizz Cocktail Recipe - Step by step how to prepare a rum cocktail

1.

Chill a Collins glass or large flute.

2.

Cut a lemon in half and juice.

3.

Add all ingredients except soda to your shaker.

4.

Shake without ice (dry shake) to get the egg white properly frothy.

5.

Fill shaker with cracked ice.

6.

Shake vigorously for an additional 15-20 seconds or until fully frothy.

7.

Strain into your chilled glass.

8.

Slowly pour in chilled club soda to let the foam rise to the top of your glass.

Origins of the Chicago Fizz cocktail

Fizz cocktail history goes all the way back to that long lost world of early morning day-drinking with the express purpose of beating out a hangover. Think of the healing properties of Alka-Seltzer and its settling bubbles. In drinks like the Chicago Fizz, you not only get relief from the ole hair of the dog, but also nutrients from the emulsified egg white. So why is it called the Chicago Fizz? Findings for rum and port being associated with Chicago and the midwest are scant at best. Most research indicates Chicago with more of a beer and whiskey heritage and without the more colorful cocktail history like in New York, San Francisco or New Orleans. In fact, finding any specific details on the origins of Chicago Fizz cocktail appearances largely leads to a dead end. It’s documented as a pre-war recipe collected by Albert S. Crockett of New York based Waldorf-Astoria Cocktail Book fame, although not due to his own invention. Crockett specifically calls it “An importation from the Windy City long before bombs, machine guns and sawed-off shotguns had come to disturb its peaceful life.” There’s mention of this Windy City recipe in Old Mr. Boston guides but with no backstory given. It reads like a Pre-Prohibition style of cocktail but doesn’t seem to land in many of the more notable guides of the time. The lack of documented history of Chicago Fizz cocktail appearances is truly somewhat mysterious. Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide lists over 50 different fizzes including the Alabama, Barcelona, Creole, Diamond as well as multiple New Orleans and Ramos Fizzes and even a Texas Fizz but no Chicago Fizz name. In fact, it would seem that the vintage and obscure cocktail known as the Elk’s Own with other aliases such as the Elk’s Club Fizz or Elk’s Special sort of commandeers the identity of the Classic Chicago Fizz, replaces the rum with rye whiskey, omits the soda and adds a pineapple garnish for the complete disguise effect. Poof!

Tips for a Chicago Fizz Cocktail

Tip 1: When shaking with an egg white, always be sure to shake very vigorously but to also breathe while doing so to avoid pulling a muscle.

Tip 2: If using a bottle of club soda, open the cap slowly and let it hiss first so as not to have it explode. And always chill your soda before adding so as not to warm up your cocktail.

Tip 3: If you prefer to leave out the egg white, you’ll lose the silky and frothy texture but the drink will still be balanced and tasty.

Tips for a Chicago Fizz Cocktail

Tip 1: When shaking with an egg white, always be sure to shake very vigorously but to also breathe while doing so to avoid pulling a muscle.

Tip 2: If using a bottle of club soda, open the cap slowly and let it hiss first so as not to have it explode. And always chill your soda before adding so as not to warm up your cocktail.

Tip 3: If you prefer to leave out the egg white, you’ll lose the silky and frothy texture but the drink will still be balanced and tasty.

Chicago Fizz Variations and types

Their version uses a tawny port and offers the technique of pouring the cocktail and the soda in your glass simultaneously for better texture.

This version may have usurped the Chicago Fizz in history by replacing the rum with rye whiskey and is sometimes listed with or without the soda. It appears to be affiliated with the Elk’s Club which does indeed have a headquarters in Chicago in addition to many other US cities.

Barman Duggan McDonnell may or may not have had the Chicago or Elk’s Fizz on his mind when creating this larger format recipe with rum, tawny port, lime, sugar and bitters but it does feel like part of the family. 

FAQ

Beer and whiskey back in the day but today, the bartender’s “Chicago handshake” drink is Malört, a very bitter Amaro often taken alongside a beer. Other drinks affiliated with Chicago historically include the Chicago Cocktail, the Mamie Taylor, Cohasset Punch, the Southside and unfortunately, the Mickey Finn.

Fizz refers to a category of sour drinks that are shaken with or without an egg white and then topped with carbonated water or other fizzy ingredient to make them extra frothy. In their heyday (late 1800’s – early 1900’s), they were often a breakfast cocktail and or hangover cure.

No one is entirely certain who authored it or just why it is so named the Chicago Fizz, although many types of Fizzes were commonly named for places and other monikers. 

The best dark rums for the Chicago Fizz are dark rums that have a richer character. Dos Maderas 5+5 is ideal for its particular chocolate and dried fruit character that works nicely with Port.

Cocktails with Dos Maderas 5+5

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