Lime Rickey: A Refreshing Non-Alcoholic Drink

Lime rickey recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
65 Calories
0g Fat
18g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 65
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 18mg 91%
Calcium 21mg 2%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 71mg 2%
*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 lime rickey is a refreshingly tart combination of fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and seltzer. It's easy to make and is a great "virgin" drink for teetotalers. The best lime rickey will come from freshly squeezed lime juice (perfect use for your citrus juicer), and homemade simple syrup, which requires just sugar and water and 10 minutes of time.

While this recipe will make about four 6-ounce drinks, it is very easy to double or triple to create more. You can even downsize it and make a single glass for yourself on a hot summer afternoon.

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"Nice, tart and refreshing." —Renae Wilson

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, from 6 to 7 large limes

  • 4 ounces simple syrup

  • 12 ounces seltzer water

  • Lime wedges, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for a Lime Rickey
    The Spruce 
  2. In a pitcher or ​a measuring cup with a spout, mix the lime juice and simple syrup.

    Measure lime juice
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  3. Fill 4 glasses with ice.

    Fill four glasses with ice
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  4. Divide the sweetened lime juice mixture between the glasses (about 3 ounces each).

    Divide lime juice between glasses
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  5. Fill the rest of the glass with seltzer water (about 3 ounces).

    Add seltzer
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  6. Stir with a swizzle stick or a long spoon. 

    Stir with a long spoon
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  7. Garnish with a lime wedge or two.

    Garnish with a lime wedge
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Tips

  • Use the freshest soda for the best taste and fizz; crack a fresh bottle of seltzer to ensure your drink has maximum carbonation.
  • If you regularly make single drinks, buy small bottles of seltzer so you avoid flat or wasted soda.

Recipe Variations

  • Switch to another clear soda if you like. Ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, and tonic water each add a different flair to the Lime Rickey.
  • To make this into a cocktail, gin is the liquor of choice. Add 8 ounces of gin (2 ounces per serving) to the lime juice mixture and stir or shake over ice. Then pour into individual glasses and top with seltzer water.

Why Is It Called a Lime Rickey?

This refreshing drink was named after Democratic lobbyist Colonel Joe Rickey; he collaborated with the bartender of Shoomaker's bar in Washington, D.C. in the 1880s to create a cocktail that included gin (or bourbon), lime, and carbonated water. Although no sugar was included in the original mixture, the Lime Rickey has become a non-alcoholic beverage that is sweetened with simple syrup; if it includes liquor, it is called a Gin Rickey.