Food and Drink

Gin Fizz Cocktail

Onwards with gin drinks that have slightly confusing definitions. The Gin Fizz is a pretty straightforward cocktail, and you can see that it’s similar to the previous Gin Fix, but the most common confusion for this one is with the Tom Collins. They are both like gin lemonades with soda water. At the end of the day the difference here is even more subtle that between the Fizz and the Fix. To quote from Moving at the Speed of Life,

“A Collins is built in the glass it is served in, a highball. A Fizz is shaken (prior to adding the soda water), strained into a rocks-filled old-fashioned glass, then topped with the soda water.”

The other classic difference for these two is the liquor used. The Tom Collins should use Old Tom Gin, which is an old, slightly sweeter version of gin, while the Gin Fizz uses gin. I dare say that most Tom Collins’ made today don’t bother with the distinction.

As Art of Drink observes, “Currently, I don’t think that many bartenders actually make a differentiation.” … “If you order a Gin Fizz or Tom Collins today, you’ll get it in an ice packed 12oz or larger glass with commercial sour mix and soda off a gun.”

Gin Fizz

The Recipes


  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 spoon sugar
  • 1 oz. sour mix
  • top with water

Savoy/Café Royal

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1/2 lemon juice (1 lemon in Café Royal)
  • 1/2 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • fill with soda water

Strange that Axel has sour mix (which he states is 1/2 lemon juice, 1/2 sugar) along with yet more sugar. I guess that stays in line with the generally sweeter recipes in Lommebogen.

Very much like the Gin Fix, this is a refreshing cocktail. The soda water gives it a bit more play on the tongue, and you’ll want to play with the lemon/sugar ratio to get the tart/sweet balance you like.

This post is part of a series working through some of the cocktails in a Danish bartender’s notebook from the 1930s, Lommebogen.