Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gin Rickey

The "Gin Rickey" sounds like a classic cocktail, the kind of thing that a man in a white suit might sidle up to third world bar in a former English colony and order from a snappy, immaculate bartender. Although it lacks the tonic -- and thus, the quinine -- of the gin and tonic, one can easily imagine the well-dressed stranger favoring rickeys for their "healthful" effects.

The stories about the rickey's origins are murky; according to Wikipedia, it gets its name from Colonel Rickey, an English officer who was once based in Washington, DC. The Ultimate A-to-Z Bar Guide, on the other hand, says that the legendary Rickey was named Joe, and was a congressional lobbyist. Either way, it seems that the drink was invented in Washington DC, probably in Shoemaker's restaurant.

Of all the drinks I've made thus far, this one is my favorite. I made it with Rogue gin, which is pretty wonderful. The total lack of sweetness makes it a real drinker's cocktail. There isn't really much hiding the hard hit of booze, and the rough lime is brutally refreshing. If I find myself drinking a lot of Gin Rickeys, I'm probably going to drag my ass to AA.

Incidentally, it's also known as a "Billy Taylor."

Gin Rickey
(from The Ultimate A-to-Z Bar Guide)

2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
cold club soda
lime wedge

Pour gin and lime juice into chilled highball glass over ice cubes. Top with club soda, stirring gently. Garnish with lime wedge.

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