Rickey Cocktail Recipe

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Rickey Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Rickey cocktail was created in the late 19th century by Colonel Joe Rickey, a prominent lobbyist in Washington D.C. It was originally made with bourbon, but later variations used gin or other spirits. The drink became popular during the Prohibition era due to its refreshing and easy-to-make nature.

  • The Rickey was first made at Shoomaker's Bar in Washington D.C.
  • It was named after Colonel Joe Rickey, who was known for his love of bourbon and entertaining guests.
  • The drink gained popularity during Prohibition as a simple and refreshing alternative to more complex cocktails.

How Rickey Tastes?

The Rickey cocktail is a refreshing, tart, and slightly sweet drink with a hint of citrus. It has a light, crisp taste that is perfect for warm weather or as a palate cleanser.

Interesting facts about Rickey

  • The Rickey is considered an 'eye-opener' cocktail, often consumed in the morning or early afternoon.
  • In 2011, the Rickey was named the official cocktail of Washington D.C.
  • The Rickey is sometimes referred to as a 'Gin Rickey' when made with gin instead of bourbon.


A few good options for Rickey are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


The gin is the backbone of the Rickey, giving it the essential botanical flavors that mingle so nicely with the lime. 2 oz is just enough to assert its presence without overwhelming the other ingredients. Without it, you'd basically have a mocktail or a lime soda—certainly not a Rickey.

Alex Green


Fresh lime juice provides a zesty citrus kick that cuts through the gin's complexity, and is a non-negotiable in the Rickey—after all, a Rickey without lime is like a day without sunshine! It also adds balance to the sweetness.

Emma Rose

Club Soda

The 4 oz of club soda gives our Rickey its refreshing effervescence. If skipped, you'd lose the fizz that lightens up the cocktail and makes it so quaffable.

Mary Mitkina

Simple Syrup

Half an ounce of simple syrup might seem small, but it's just enough to sweeten the pot without turning the drink into a sugar bomb. It's the peacemaker between the gin's botanicals and the lime's tartness.

Alex Green


Ice is the unsung hero that keeps everything cool and dilutes the drink to perfection as it melts. Without enough ice, your Rickey could become a lukewarm mess.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Rickey Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the glass.
  3. Add 2 oz of gin and 0.5 oz of simple syrup.
  4. Top with 4 oz of club soda.
  5. Stir gently to combine.
  6. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
  • Chill your glass before preparing the cocktail to keep it cool longer.
  • Stir gently to combine the ingredients without losing the carbonation of the club soda.

Perfect Pairings


  • Oysters: The briny, fresh flavor of oysters complements the Rickey's citrus and botanical notes.
  • Grilled Shrimp: A light smokiness from grilled shrimp pairs well with the bright, zesty lime.


  • Goat Cheese Salad: The creaminess of goat cheese is cut through by the Rickey's acidity.
  • Cucumber Salad: A refreshing salad with a crispness that mirrors the effervescence of the cocktail.

Spicy Dishes

  • Thai Green Curry: The Rickey's citrus notes can stand up to and alleviate the heat from spicy curries.
  • Jerk Chicken: The drink's acidity and sweetness can soothe the spice, making each bite moreish.


  • Salted Nuts: Salt enhances the cocktail's flavors while the drink cleanses the palate.
  • Chips and Guacamole: The Rickey cuts through the richness of the avocado.

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What you could change in Rickey

  • Gin: Can be replaced with bourbon or vodka.
  • Simple Syrup: Can be replaced with honey or agave syrup.
  • Club Soda: Can be replaced with tonic water for a slightly bitter taste.

Explore all drinks starting with R here

And of course - twists🍹

Cucumber Rickey

  • Add 3-4 slices of fresh cucumber to the glass before the ice.

The cucumber adds a garden-fresh crispness, making the Rickey even more refreshing. It feels spa-like and boosts the botanical aspects of the gin.

Bourbon Rickey

  • Use 2 oz of bourbon instead of gin.

The Rickey gets a Southern twist—woodsy and warm, the bourbon makes the drink richer and robust, perfect for a late evening soiree.

Hibiscus Rickey

  • Infuse the simple syrup with dried hibiscus flowers.

This twist brings a floral tartness and vibrant color to the Rickey, making for an exotic and visually stunning cocktail suited for a festive occasion.

In case you forgot basics how to make Rickey

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Rickey

What is the best gin to use for a Rickey cocktail?

Premium brands like Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, or Hendrick's are excellent choices for a Rickey cocktail. However, you can use any gin you prefer. The choice of gin will impact the flavor more subtly in a mixed drink like this.

Is there any special technique to squeeze a lime?

Use a citrus juicer for best results. Simply, cut a lime in half and squeeze it with the juicer. If you don't have a juicer, use your hands. Before cutting, roll the lime against the counter with a little pressure to release the juice inside easier.

What else can I garnish the Rickey cocktail with?

While lime wheel is a classic garnish for the Rickey cocktail, you can also use a sprig of mint or a slice of cucumber for some added flavor and visual appeal.

What's the logical quantity of cocktails one can drink?

It depends heavily on the person and the context. Generally, moderate drinking for healthy adults means up to one drink a day for individual assigned female at birth (AFAB) and up to two drinks a day for individuals assigned male at birth (AMAB). It's essential to consider your health, personal tolerance levels, and the potential risks before deciding to consume alcohol.

Are there non-alcoholic versions of the Rickey cocktail?

Yes, you can make a 'virgin' Rickey by simply omitting the gin and using more club soda or adding some tonic water for flavor. You could also use a non-alcoholic gin substitute.

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