Ginger lime rickey1 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

6.24.11 Vintage Soda

The Rickey, a mixed drink featuring lime and not much sugar, was originally created in the 1880s with bourbon by Washington, D.C. bartender George A. Williamson, purportedly in collaboration with Democratic lobbyist Colonel Joe Rickey. Thus the name. Years later, mixed with gin, it became something of a worldwide sensation. Change that to rum, add a little mint and it’s basically a mojito. I first came to know it in the delis and little corner “spas” that dotted the East Village in the 1980s. (Remember those days? I was making $250 cash a week and living in a 3-bedroom-2-bath apartment on Avenue A that cost $1,550 a month. Total. And I had really big hair.) There, it was a huge glass stuffed with halved, squeezed-out limes, plenty of sugar and lots of ice, then topped off with seltzer. Not necessarily the soul of sophistication, but damned refreshing on a sweltering New York City afternoon. I've brought it to a slightly different place with the addition of a ginger-infused honey syrup (you can sub simple syrup, or even superfine sugar) and a splash of bitters, but it remains a thirst-quencher of the first order. Spike it with gin, and it's the perfect summer cocktail.
Tagged — lime rickey