All a fizz is is a drink that incorporates effervescence and some element of citrus (most commonly lemon) into the mix. To that end, I've already done some experimenting with fizzes making drinks like collins and mojitos, but nothing that one would classically think of as a fizz. As an amateur mixologist, I value history and authenticity.
With anything old-timey, my new go-to reference is The Savoy Cocktail Book. It give a lot of prohibition-era drinks that one can sift through. Many of the drinks in the fizzes section fell into one or more of the following categories:
-Has a ton of gin
-Too elaborate/too many ingredients
-Contains mixers I don't have
There were a couple that were just too simple as well. For example, a Bucks Fizz contains orange juice and champagne--basically a fancy name for a mimosa. But finally I stumbled upon one that was simple but not too simple, contained no gin and made with items I had on hand. Success.
adapted from The Savoy Cocktail Book
-2 oz. Brandy (I used Courvoisier)
-1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar
-Juice of half a lemon
Shake and strain over ice into a highball glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
And there you have it. A perfectly refreshing summery cocktail. I found it sweet and tart with a beautiful syrupy caramel flavor lent by the Cognac. Normally I would use simple syrup for this sort of thing, but I decided that I would adhere to the recipe and use powdered sugar. In my early days of experimenting with cocktails, I tried to mix cocktails with granulated sugar and found it to be a great burden. I would be left with a fair amount of crystals at the bottom of whatever I was making.
At the time, I didn't have powdered sugar on hand so I put the effort into making simple syrup--a method that has worked for me ever since. But Heather, in all her culinary keenness, keeps a fair amount of powdered sugar on hand. I'm not sure if I can tell the difference, but I think I noticed a subtle smoothness in the sweet flavor of the cocktail--one that I will tinker with in the warm months ahead.