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Monday, April 19, 2010

Gin Rickey: a classic long drink for those hot, spring days

Like many other classic cocktails, the origins of the Gin Rickey seem to be lost in time. In the Joy of Mixology, Gary Regan reports that it was invented by Colonel “Joe” Rickey who was a lobbyist in Washington, DC.  Other sources say Colonel Joe was a British officer who died in 1903 (thus dating the cocktail to pre-1903, unless he passed away in the act of inventing the thing).  Of course, he could have been both an officer and a lobbyist (good film title?).  Actually, the thought of a British officer lobbying corrupt American lawmakers with gin cocktails is kind of appealing: at least they weren’t grubbing for money for their reelection campaigns.  

One of the more attractive things about this long drink is its simplicity. The simplest recipes only call for three ingredients.  It reached 80 degrees in Salt Lake City today (at least it did at my house).  After returning from the gym and putting in enough time on yard work to preserve peace in the household, the time was right for the first Gin Rickey of the season.  It did not take long to gather the three ingredients, and not much more time was required to mix the cocktail.  The only real delay was the time it took to take the attached photo.  Use of your favorite highball Gin is recommended; save your best Gin for Martinis.  And finally, if the Rickey is too sour for you, add a little Simple Syrup or sugar to sweeten it up a little.  Leave it a little tart, though, or it won’t be a Gin Rickey.

Gin Rickey

2 oz New Amsterdam® Gin
½ oz fresh Lime juice (juice of ½ Lime)
½ tsp Simple syrup (optional)
4-5 oz Soda water

Fill a highball glass ¾ full of ice.  Add the Gin and Lime juice and drop the Lime rind on top of the ice.  Fill with Soda water, stir lightly, and enjoy.

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