The Gin Rickey - A Summer Gin Series

Mar 12, 2014

The Gin Rickey is a drink known by many as the most refreshing cocktail in existence.  That’s a hard reputation to live up to, but if there is one drink that combines simplicity with the ability to be perfectly refreshing, the Gin Rickey would be top of the list.

The History: The story behind the Gin Rickey starts in the American capital city of Washington D.C. during the late 1800s. It’s said to have been the brainchild of D.C. bartender George Williamson at the Shoomaker’s Bar, an establishment frequented by well known lobbyist Joe Rickey.

According to accounts from other frequent patrons, Rickey often came to the bar to indulge himself with a drink he called his “mornin’s morning;” a mixture of bourbon, ice, and mineral water. One day – rumored to be the day Rickey won a gentleman’s bet on who would become the next Speaker of the United States House of Representatives – Williamson added lime to the drink and the original Joe Rickey was born.  As the drink began to spread, it somehow found its way to Chicago, where the bourbon was dropped for gin. Soon after the drink exploded and became one of the nations most celebrated images of summer.

How to make a Gin Rickey

  • A chilled highball glass
  • Ice
  • A few limes and a juicer
  • 2 oz of gin
  • Club soda or mineral water
  • Stirring spoon


  1. Fill chilled highball glass with ice.
  2. Cut lime in half and squeeze both halves into glass.
  3. Add 2 oz of gin into the glass followed by your desired amount of club soda or mineral water.
  4. Stir together and modify ratios to taste.
  5. Garnish with a slice of lime and enjoy.

- Brian David Joyner

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