Born and raised in Laredo, Texas, writer and former journalism professor Wanda Garner Cash, a 23-year member of AAA, spent much of her childhood across the border in Nuevo Laredo’s famous Cadillac Bar.
In her book, Pancho Villa’s Saddle at the Cadillac Bar: Recipes and Memories, she wrote about her family—namely her grandfather, Achille Mehault “Mayo” Bessan, who started the bar, and her father, Porter S. Garner Jr. Bessan left New Orleans during Prohibition to launch the business, while Cash’s father (Bessan’s son-in-law) overcame crippling World War II injuries (doctors said he would never walk again) to transform the spot into a legendary watering hole.
Garner sold the bar and eatery to his employees in 1979. While the original Nuevo Laredo bar closed in 2010, the “Cadillac Bar” name has been picked up by restaurants across the U.S.
This recipe pays homage to one of the bar’s most iconic cocktails, the Ramos Gin Fizz, which socialites often could be found sipping in the bar’s early years (be sure to designate a driver if you plan to drink alcohol).