Gin Rickey

[Photo: Paul Clarke]

If you look at the gin rickey and think it's nothing but a gin and tonic without tonic's bittersweet bite, you'd be mostly correct. Dismiss it as a G&T wannabe, however, and you're missing out on one of the great joys of summer. Created in a Washington, D.C., bar called Shoemaker's during an especially brutal heat wave in the 1890s--before the advent of air conditioning, you'll note--the gin rickey is like an effervescent Frigidaire. Refreshingly bubbly and pleasantly bitter, this Gilded Age cooler demonstrates how your great-grandparents made it through the summer alive.

About the author: Paul Clarke blogs about cocktails at The Cocktail Chronicles and writes regularly on spirits and cocktails for Imbibe magazine. He lives in Seattle, where he works as a writer and magazine editor.

Gin Rickey

About This Recipe

Yield:makes 1 cocktail
This recipe appears in: Rediscovering the Rickey Hendrick's Gin: An Old Standby in the New Generation of Gins


  • Half a well-washed lime
  • 2 ounces London dry gin
  • Chilled club soda
  • Optional: splash simple syrup


  1. 1

    Fill a 10-ounce Collins glass with ice. Squeeze lime into the glass, getting as much juice out of it as you can. Toss in the lime shell, then add gin. Top off glass with club soda. The rickey doesn't need it, but if you like a sweeter drink, add splash of simple syrup.


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