The first printed reference to a fizz (spelled "fiz") is in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas' Bartender's Guide, in which Thomas lists six fizz recipes.
Simple variations on the gin fizz are
The addition of orange flower water and egg whites has a significant effect on the flavor and texture of the drink as compared with a regular Gin Fizz. The possible danger in using raw egg in the drink means that most bartenders use powdered egg white.
The Ramos gin fizz was invented in 1888 by Henry C. Ramos, at his bar in Meyer's Restaurant. It was originally known as the New Orleans Fizz, and is one of the city's most famous cocktails. Before Prohibition, the bar employed dozens of "shaker boys" to create the drinks during periods of heavy business.
The drink was popularized by the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans and governor Huey Long's fondness for the drink. In July 1935, Long brought a bartender named Sam Guarino from the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans to the New Yorker Hotel in New York to show the staff there how to make the drink, so that he could have it whenever he was in New York. The Museum of the American Cocktail has newsreel footage of this event. The Roosevelt Hotel group trademarked the drink name in 1935 and continues to make it today (now known as the Fairmont Hotel).
The drink is mentioned in the Jack White and Loretta Lynn song "Portland Oregon," with the lines "Well, Portland Oregon and sloe gin fizz, if that ain't love then tell me what is" and "Well, sloe gin fizz works mighty fast, when you drink it by the pitcher and not by the glass." It is not common for the drink to be served by the pitcher, and is illegal in some areas.
Another song which includes a reference is Aerosmith's "Rag Doll", which includes the lyrics "Sloe gin fizzy / do it 'til you're dizzy / give it all you got until you're put out of your misery."
The "sloe gin fizz" shows up, too, in the new Local H album, "12 angry months" in the song, "BMW Man".
The drink is sung of by Sammy Kershaw in his song "Queen of my Double Wide Trailer." "We sat there talkin' by the lobster tank/I ordered her a sloe gin fizz/And when them chicken-fried steaks arrived/She said, 'I like living like this.'"