Gin Puff

This drink is a favorite from Elemental Mixology course posset sessions.
Notes on the dirnk follow the recipe.


Set out a 71/2 fl-oz. fizz tumbler (Libbey number 2521 as shown, or Libbey number 2520).
Into a metal mixing tumbler ('shaker tin') goes:

  • 1 pony [1 fl-oz.|30 ml.] heavy cream
  • 1 pony [1 fl-oz.|30 ml.] whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon [15 ml.] superfine white sugar
  • 1 jigger [2 fl-oz.|60 ml.] dry gin (I like Beefeater or Seagram's Distiller's Reserve for this drink)

Into the fizz tumbler goes:

  • 1 pony [1 fl-oz.|30 ml.] chilled soda water

To the other ingredients already in the metal mixing tumbler, add:

  • 3/4 fill the metal mixing tumbler with method ice or cracked ice [about 1/2 fl-oz. cubes]

Seal the mixing tumbler with a metal mixing cap ('cheater tin') and shake vigorously to mix and chill/dilute.
Finely-strain this into the fizz tumbler already containing the soda water.
The fill should be perfect if the appropriate method ice and service vessel are used - and if the shaking is vigorous and hard (and the gin is not overproof).
There is no garniture. Serve (or drink).

The oldest extant reference to this nineteenth-century drink is in a Chicago newspaper from 1883, where it is mentioned by a bar-tender as being popular.
It has been a favorite drink in Elemental Mixology posset sessions for the past three or four years.
Recently, the puff, as a form of drink with a traditional family name, has been called the "lift" (by someone who clearly had no idea that they were 're-inventing the wheel').
If the traditional glassware of the correct size is used, along with a hard shake, it is possible to strain the shaken, heavier bulk of the drink into the tumbler already containing the lighter soda water. This creates a more evenly-mixed drink with a good, foamy texture.
If improper ice is used, the shake is weak, or the size of the glassware not ideal, then the technique of pouring the soda water on top will be used. But, this is like playing tennis without a net and yields an inferior drink containing a haphazard amount of soda water that remains unevenly mixed toward the top-half of the drink's column.