The gin Rickey is a refreshing and classic highball drink that dates back to the early 1900s. It is an easy recipe, requiring just three ingredients, and one of the most invigorating gin cocktails you can mix up.
The mix is simple: choose your favorite gin, add a healthy dose of lime, and fill the glass with club soda. It is very similar to the gin & tonic, gin buck, and gin fizz. Each differs only by the soda used, though the fizz does have a few extra ingredients. These are a great set of mixed drinks for any gin lover.
If you skip the gin altogether, you will have a lime Rickey. It's a fantastic mocktail and perfect for a summer afternoon on the patio. You can even serve both Rickeys for a casual party and keep all your guests happy.
- Fill a highball glass with ice.
- Pour the gin and lime juice over the ice.
- Top with club soda.
- Garnish with a lime wedge.
3 Tips for Making a Great Gin Rickey
The Gin. The gin Rickey is a transparent drink so while you do not have to use your very best gin, it is best if you at least pour a decent gin. You might also find it fun to step away from the traditional London dry gins and explore some of the more unusual offerings.
The Lime Juice. Fresh lime juice should almost be considered a requirement in the gin Rickey. Not only will the fruit provide the most natural flavor, but if you are cutting lime for the garnish, you might as well use it in the drink. Also, as you drink you may find yourself squeezing more juice into it. Do yourself a favor and grab fresh lime, your Rickey will thank you for it.
If you do need to measure out your lime juice, keep in mind that the average lime yields 1/2 to 1 ounce. With either fresh or bottled juice, feel free to adjust the lime to fit your taste and this may change from one gin to another.
Also, to add a little extra tartness, wet the rim of your glass with the lime wedge by simply running it around the edge. With each drink you get an extra spark and this is a fantastic way to cleanse your palate during a meal.
The Soda. Club soda seems like a simple ingredient, though soda is just as important as any other element in drinks like this. If you step up the quality of the gin and lime, it is only natural to follow suit with the soda. There are some excellent soda companies out there and two recommendations for a great cocktail-worthy club soda are Q Drinks and Fever-Tree.
The History of the Gin Rickey
The story goes that the gin Rickey was created at Shoemaker's in Washington D.C., a popular hangout spot for Congressmen. It was named after Colonel "Joe" Rickey, a lobbyist who died in 1903 and who was known for entertaining elected officials in the area lounges.
How Strong Is the Gin Rickey?
As with all highballs, you can make the gin Rickey as strong or as weak as you like. If we pour the average 80-proof gin and our finished drink has a volume of 7 ounces, we can expect it to have an alcohol content around 10 percent ABV (20 proof). This makes it a nice, mild drink, comparable to the average glass of wine.