Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Drinks: The Rickey

Cocktails come and go, but the good ones keep resurfacing, it seems. The professionals who make up the DC Craft Bartender's Guild, for instance, have wholeheartedly embraced the Rickey as their own, and in fact plan on celebrating its various qualities next week. Good for them - nothing like a little bit of local historical authenticity tied to really good drink making to set a party off.

Meanwhile, I know that the original drink, named for the lobbyist Joe Rickey, called for whiskey, soda, lime and ice only, but by the time I was a kid, Rickeys were non-alcohol coolers, served in every soda fountain or corner luncheonette, usually in branded glasses like those pictured. In fact, all but the soda and ice were gone in those versions, and soda jerks whipped them up using sweetened lime syrup and highly-charged soda that fired out of the bar tap with a sizzling whoosh. My first adult Rickey, like many others, was made with gin, and I still have a taste for them made thataway, though in the batch pictured, I threw in some freshly-picked blueberries that soaked up the gin and lime, a savory treat to encounter at the end of the drink.

Gin Rickey

Squeeze one half lime into a tall glass, preferably a Rickey glass; fill with crushed ice. Add 1.5 ounces gin, top with bottled soda water and agitate drink with a long spoon until glass frosts.

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