Frank Meier was the celebrated, “cracker jack” head barkeep at the Ritz in Paris, France. Born in Austria, he had worked in the hotel hospitality industry in both Paris and London from a young age, and was tapped to open the Ritz bar in 1920, serving there through World War II. The Seapea Fizz—which originally called for sweetened Anis “Pernod fils,” lemon, and soda water—is one of the most famous cocktails featured in his stylish 1936 book The Artistry of Mixing Drinks, although the recipe has been tweaked over the years.
There is an entire section of Artistry devoted to the fizz genre of cocktails, including the “New Orleans Fizz” that closely resembles the Ramos Gin Fizz, and a raspberry liqueur and sloe gin “Ruby Fizz.” The notation for this drink is “Seapea ‘C.P.’ — Special for Mr. Cole Porter, famous composer of lyrics and music.” Does that mean Porter drank this tailor-made cocktail at the Ritz bar in Meier’s presence? It’s highly possible.
The original recipe, which lacks much sweetener and could use a binding agent of some sort, might not have people singing “You’re the Top,” but keep in mind that anis liqueur was de rigueur in 1920s and 30s France and Meier would have used a soda siphon for dramatic effect when serving. Modern variations of the Seapea Fizz use absinthe instead of Pernod, and additional simple syrup. Also, the drink was just begging for an egg white (perhaps it was even accidentally left out? Anything goes…). Therefore, contemporary recipes call for it, which not only makes the cocktail taste better, but truly lends it the aesthetic quality of sea foam.
Origin: Paris, France
Inventor: Frank Meier
Premises: Ritz Hotel
Alcohol Type: Absinthe
22 ml absinthe
22 ml simple syrup
22 ml fresh lemon juice
1 egg white
Soda water, chilled, to top
Add all ingredients except soda water to a cocktail shaker and shake without ice for at least 20 seconds.
Add ice and shake for an additional 15 to 20 seconds.
Strain into a coupe glass and top with soda water.