Classic

Gin • Sour
Gin Rickey

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The Gin Rickey is essentially a Tom Collins with no sugar and lime in place of lemon. Unlike the Collins, the Rickey’s name is derived from a real person. Colonel Joe Rickey was a veteran of the Civil War who became a Washington lobbyist. Colonel Joe was a regular at the now defunct D.C. watering hole Shoomaker’s. The cocktail was first mixed during the blazingly hot 1883 summer campaign season by bartender George Williamson, as the ingredients were dictated to him by Colonel Joe. At the time, the refreshing libation was made with Shoomaker’s house label rye.

When Prohibition hit, people continued to drink Rickeys even without the booze. The early 20th century mocktail was a refreshing break from boring, flavorless water—even if it didn’t give them a buzz. But after the repeal of the 18th amendment in 1933, folks began spiking the mix of lime juice and soda once again. Though the original base spirit for the Rickey was whiskey, the gin version has proved itself to be more popular in modern times. Because this is such a simple cocktail, any gin you prefer works well. A London Dry like Beefeater or Tanqueray gives it a classic flavor, while something like Hendrick’s lends floral notes to the citrusy mix. If you want to get fancy and make the tastiest Rickey ever, Nikka Coffey Gin adds delightful licorice and spice flavors. And always remember that freshly squeezed lime juice makes all the difference in a simple cocktail like the Rickey.

The Essentials

Gin
Lime
Club Soda
Bar Spoon
The Details

Ingredients

2 oz Gin
Half a Lime
Club Soda

Method

  • This cocktail is best built in the glass. Squeeze the lime and drop it into the glass.
  • Pour the gin on top of the lime, add ice and top with club soda.
  • Give the drink a small stir with a bar spoon before serving.
easy
Strength:
Gin Sweet Easy
Gin & Tonic

You would assume that making a Gin & Tonic is easy. After all, it only calls for three ingredients: gin, lime and tonic water. Yet the drink is often inconsistent from one bar to the next, with some achieving the perfect balance while others fall flat from one of the many ways to ruin a good G&T. When it’s done right, however, it’s one...