Last Modified On:
August 10, 2023

Classic Gin Rickey Recipe: Easy Steps To Make At Home

Learn how to make the perfect gin rickey with these easy steps. Impress your guests with this classic cocktail at your next gathering.

3 minutes

Are you a gin lover looking for a refreshing cocktail to beat the heat? Look no further than the classic Gin Rickey! This drink has been around since the late 1800s and was even said to be a favorite of F. Scott Fitzgerald during his Jazz Age heyday. With just a few simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, you can mix up this timeless drink in no time. And if you're feeling adventurous, we've also got some exciting variations to try out! So grab your shaker, choose your favorite gin, and let's get mixing.

Historical Background of Gin Rickey

The Gin Rickey or Gin Ricky is a classic cocktail that was originally made with bourbon, but later became more popular with gin as the main base. The drink was invented in the 1880’s and quickly gained popularity. However, it wasn't until the 1890s that it became more well-known with gin.

Washington DC was buzzing with a refreshing cocktail called the Gin Rickey. Bartender George Williamson made it famous, combining gin, lump ice, fresh lime juice, and carbonated mineral water. The drink's name pays homage to Colonel Joe Rickey, a lobbyist who loved it. During Prohibition, the Gin Ricky kept spirits high as a popular and invigorating choice.

Despite its transformation over time, the drink has remained a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts for over a century. Whether made with gin or bourbon, it is a refreshing and timeless cocktail that will never go out of style.

The Essential Ingredients for a Perfect Gin Rickey

Here are the essential ingredients for a Gin Rickey recipe:

  • 2 ounces of gin
  • Freshly squeezed juice of half a lime
  • Soda water or club soda
  • Ice cubes
  • Lime wedge for garnish (optional)


  • Simple syrup (to adjust sweetness)
  • Sugar (for rimming the glass)
  • Additional lime slices for garnish

Note: The classic Gin Rickey recipe doesn't include sweeteners like simple syrup, as its characteristic flavor comes from the tartness of lime and the fizziness of soda water. However, some variations may incorporate a touch of sweetness to balance the flavors.

Classic Gin Rickey Recipe

Alright, let's get down to mixing a classic Gin Rickey recipe!

  1. Grab a highball glass and fill it up with ice cubes, giving it that perfect chill factor.
  2. Squeeze the juice of half a lime into the glass, adding that tangy twist.
  3. Now, for the star ingredient – pour in 2 ounces of gin, and let the party begin!
  4. Top it off with club soda or carbonated water for that fizzy touch.
  5. Give it a gentle stir, garnish with a lime wedge, and voila!

Your refreshing Gin Ricky drink is ready to be enjoyed. Cheers to a cocktail that never fails to impress!

Choosing the Right Type of Gin

So, you want to step up your gin game? Let's talk about choosing the right type of gin. We've got London Dry Gin, known for its juniper-forward flavor. Then there's Plymouth Gin, a versatile choice with a slightly sweeter profile. If you're into classics, Old Tom Gin is perfect for those classic gin cocktails. And if you're feeling adventurous, try New American or Modern Gins with their innovative botanical blends and unique flavors. Go ahead, experiment and find your preferred taste profile. Cheers to finding the perfect gin!

gin ricky drink

Exciting Variations of Gin Ricky to Try

Looking to add a new spin to your Gin Rickey recipe? Try these flavorful variations that introduce exciting elements while maintaining the refreshing vibe of the classic cocktail.

Whiskey Rickey:

  • Swap out gin for your favorite whiskey.
  • Experiment with bourbon or rye for rich, smoky undertones.

Vodka Rickey:

  • Replace gin with vodka for a neutral base.
  • Ideal for those who enjoy a cleaner, subtler taste.

Angostura Bitters Rickey:

  • Add a dash of Angostura bitters to the mix.
  • Infuses a hint of complexity and aromatic spice to the fizziness.


  • Muddle fresh mint leaves and lime wedges.
  • Combine with gin, soda water, and a touch of simple syrup.
  • A fusion of the Rickey's effervescence and the Mojito's minty zing.

Gin Fizz:

  • Similar to a Gin Ricky drink but typically includes egg white for a frothy texture.
  • Ingredients: gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white, soda water.

What is the difference between a Gin Rickey and a Gin and Tonic?

A Gin Rickey consists of gin, lime juice, and soda water, offering a tart and refreshing flavor. In contrast, a Gin and Tonic combines gin and tonic water, featuring a bitter-sweet taste. Lime or lemon can garnish both, but their key distinction lies in soda water versus tonic water.

What is the difference between Gin Rickey and gin collins?

The Gin Rickey and Gin Collins are both gin-based cocktails with unique citrus flavors. The difference lies in the choice of citrus juice. A Gin Rickey has a tangy flavor with lime juice, while a Gin Collins has a slightly sweeter taste with lemon juice and splash of simple syrup.

How to mix the perfect gin lime rickey

To mix the perfect gin lime rickey, start by filling a highball or tom collins glass with ice. Pour in 2 ounces of your favorite gin and squeeze the juice from half a lime into the glass. Give it a quick stir to combine the flavors. Top it off with soda water and garnish with a lime wedge. Enjoy this tart and refreshing cocktail on a hot summer day!

Raising a Glass to the Gin Ricky Drink

Whether you're a gin enthusiast or just looking for a refreshing cocktail to enjoy, the Gin Ricky drink is a perfect choice. With its simple yet flavorful ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you can impress your friends and elevate your mixology skills. Don't be afraid to experiment with different types of gin or add a twist with exciting variations. So, grab your shaker, squeeze some lime juice, and get ready to sip on this timeless cocktail.

Other Fun Cocktails to Try

Miami Vice: A tropical cocktail that combines the flavors of a Piña Colada and a Strawberry Daiquiri.

  1. In a blender, combine white rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice.
  2. Blend until smooth and pour the mixture into a glass, filling it halfway.
  3. Clean the blender, then add strawberry puree and a handful of crushed ice.
  4. Get the next step in our Miami Vice Recipe Guide.

Espresso Martini: A sophisticated cocktail that blends the richness of coffee with the elegance of a martini.

  1. Fill a shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Pour in vodka, coffee liqueur.
  3. Discover the full Espresso Martini recipe.