Gin Rickey

Gin rickey cocktail

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
  • Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
189 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 189
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 31030mg 1,349%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 1g
Calcium 44mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The gin rickey is a refreshing and classic highball that dates back to the turn of the 20th century. Designed to have a tart flavor profile, as it features zero sugar, it's an easy mixed drink recipe that requires just three ingredients and one of the most invigorating gin cocktails you can mix up.

The story goes that the 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.

The mix is simple: Choose your favorite gin, add a healthy dose of lime, and fill the glass with soda water. It's similar to the gin and tonic, gin buck, and gin fizz. Each differs only by the soda used, though the fizz does have a few extra ingredients. They make a great set of mixed drinks for any gin lover.

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gin rickey cocktail
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Fill a highball glass with ice.

    Fill highball glass with ice
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Pour the gin and lime juice over the ice.

    Pour gin and lime juice in glass
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Top with club soda.

    Top with ice
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Garnish with a lime wedge.

    Garnish with lime
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Serve and enjoy!

    Gin rickey
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tips

  • The gin rickey is a transparent drink and is best with a decent gin.
  • It's also a perfect opportunity to step away from traditional London dry gins and explore some of the more unusual offerings. Hendrick's cucumber and Aviation's fruity-florals are both perfect options.
  • The natural flavor of fresh lime juice is highly recommended. As you drink, you may find yourself squeezing more juice into it, so don't skip the garnish.
  • The average lime yields 1/2 to 1 ounce. With either fresh or bottled juice, adjust it to fit your taste—this may change from one gin to another.
  • Club soda seems like a simple ingredient, though soda is just as important as any other element in drinks like this. There are some excellent soda companies, and both Q Drinks and Fever-Tree create cocktail-worthy sodas.

Recipe Variations

  • To add a little extra tartness, wet the rim of your glass with the lime wedge by running it around the edge. With each drink, you get an extra spark and it's a fantastic way to cleanse your palate during a meal.
  • The rickey formula works for other spirits as well. It's said that Rickey's initial request was for a sugar-free bourbon rickey. Vodka, rum, and other styles of whiskey are good, too.
  • Skip the liquor, add simple syrup, and you have the nonalcoholic lime rickey.

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 you pour the average 80-proof gin and the final volume is 7 ounces, you can expect it to have an alcohol content around 10 percent ABV (20 proof). This makes it a nice, casual drink, comparable to the average glass of wine.

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