The Story Behind The Gin Rickey

Quaffable and refreshing, the Gin Rickey has long been a favorite of politicians and Washingtonians alike, blending the best aspects of other popular cocktails like the whiskey highball and gin and tonic.

The Rickey cocktail was created by Joe Rickey, a Missouri lobbyist and Civil War veteran, in the late 19th-century. The drink — originally made with whiskey — was intended to be a thirst-quenching, sugar-free drink to cool down politicians during the swampy D.C. summer.

The drink was a massive success, inspiring many different variations over the years, but this gin version has stood the test of time. It is an incredibly balanced cocktail, perfumed from the lime in the glass but not as sweet and bitter as its tonic equivalent.


  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • Garnish: 2 lime wheels


  1. Fill a highball glass with ice and one lime wheel.
  2. Add the gin followed by the lime juice, and top with club soda.
  3. Stir gently and garnish with another lime slice.

Recipe Rating

(2 votes)

Yield: 1
Updated: 2021-11-23

The Gin Rickey Recipe