Gin Rickey Cocktail Info
Gin Rickey is one of the few classic cocktails whose origins are not muddled or buried in legends and innuendo. This refreshing highball drink was created by Joe Rickey, a Democratic lobbyist who lived in Washington, D.C., in the late 19th century.
Rickey loved carbonated water and bourbon and always looked for zero-sugar drinks. He instructed the Shoomaker's bartender to add lime juice to his favorite highball and thus was born the bourbon rickey. This refreshing, tart drink is balanced for its lack of sugar. It is also very invigorating when it is warm outside.
The Rickey was a hit and people started customizing it to their taste. Soon, the Gin Rickey became the most popular drink of all. This simple twist substitutes gin instead of bourbon and takes advantage of the botanical spirit’s natural ability to pair well with fresh lime (think Gimlet), and sparkling water (Tom Collins?). Both cocktails contain sugar, but Rickey is a stand-alone cocktail that relies on gin and lime to provide flavor and balance.
You can make a gin Rickey with any type of gin you like. A London dry is always a good choice and what I always go for. However, Citrus-driven gins will give the cocktail a unique flavor. Good quality sparkling water is essential, and fresh lime is a must.
The Gin Rickey was a beloved drink for decades. It even appeared in "The Great Gatsby", a 1925 movie where Tom Buchanan gave his guests a platter full of Rickeys. The Rickey was declared Washington D.C.’s native cocktail in 2011, more than 100 years after its creation. Today, it is still a popular drink throughout D.C. but also worldwide!
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Recommended Bar Equipment
- 60 ml Gin
- 20 ml Lime Juice
- 120 ml Soda Water
- Add ice to a highball glass.
- Add your ingredients.
- Lightly stir the drink.
- Garnish with a lime wedge.