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The Best Lime Rickey Recipe: Gin Rickey

This lime rickey recipe is simple and delicious.  You can even adapt it to make a virgin lime rickey if you fancy.

You may know this drink by its other name – Gin Rickey.

The ingredients are the same but as the drink was originally made with Bourbon, the Gin Rickey was known as a variation for a long time. 

If you haven’t heard of a gin rickey before, then you are in for a real treat.

Lime Rickey cocktails are refreshing and great for when you want something a bit different.

They are the perfect brunch cocktail when you want to impress your guests after a morning on the tennis court. 

Lime Rickey.

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Why is it called a Lime Rickey?

Many cocktails have fun names and the Lime Rickey is no exception. 

A fun thing about discovering new cocktails is learning about their origin.

One of the most interesting and oldest drinks that I enjoy is the classic Lime Rickey.

lime rickey recipe

The lime Rickey is a great drink if you like drinks with a story behind them. 

It’s one of those cocktails that is perfect for serving at a dinner party or special event when you want some easy conversation starters. 

The person who created the lime rickey gave it the fun name. 
The inventor was a Democratic Lobbyist called Colonel Joe Rickey who came up with the drink back in the 1880s. 

He frequented a bar in Washington DC called Shoomakers and worked with the bartender to come up with this delicious beverage. 

 how to make a lime rickey
While the drink has evolved over the years, it has remained a classic drink for people who love simple yet tasty cocktails. 

The original version of the Lime Rickey actually contained whiskey instead of gin and lemon instead of the lime. 

So really, it wasn’t a Lime Rickey at all! 

It wasn’t until 1883 that Missouri Rep William Henry Hatch added in the lime turning it into the zesty drink we all love today. 

Eventually gin became more popular than whiskey although both versions are still common. 

You may also come across the lime rickey under the names “Gin Rickey” or simply “Rickey” but the ingredients stay pretty much the same. 

Is a Lime Rickey alcoholic?

gin rickey recipe

Typically the Lime Rickey does contain alcohol, namely gin or bourbon in some versions. 

During prohibition, the virgin Lime Rickey became popular and was a staple of soda fountain. 

Without the alcohol, the Lime Rickey is a really nice refreshing lime flavored seltzer. 

You can easily omit the gin when making this cocktail so that everyone can enjoy a light and citrus- flavored drink whether they partake in alcohol or not. 

What is in a lime rickey cocktail?

gin rickey recipe

There really aren’t many cocktails as simple as the Lime Rickey when it comes to ingredients. 

This classic Lime Rickey Recipe calls only four – namely, fresh lime juice, simple syrup and club soda and of course, a liquor. 

I typically use gin  (In this recipe I used Hendricks Lunar gin) but bourbon is just as common and offers a smokier flavour. 

If you love gin and lime cocktails, make sure to check out my gin mojito recipe – it tastes amazing. 

For the full ingredients list and directions, scroll down to my printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. 

how to make a lime rickey


How To Make A Gin Rickey Cocktail

This is one of the easiest cocktails to make! 

Here’s how to rustle up a Ricky in just a few minutes: 

Add ice to your cocktail shaker and then add in the lime and simple syrup. 

Shake well. 

Now add in the gin and shake again. 

Strain into your glass containing fresh ice.

You can make your Gin Rickey in a high ball glass or a cocktail glass – both work really well so it is just a matter of personal preference. 

Top with club soda. 

I like to garnish my Lime Rickey with a slice of fresh lime. 

Lime rickey recipe
Yield: 1

The Best Lime Rickey Recipe

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 2 minutes

This Gin Rickey tastes great with freshly squeezed lime juice. You can add more club soda to taste if you like your drink less strong.


  • 2 ounce Gin (or Bourbon)
  • 1/2 Freshly squeezed Lime Juice
  • 1/2 ounce of simple syrup
  • 2 ounces Club Soda
  • Slice of Lime 


    1. Add the lime juice and simple syrup to your cocktail shaker. Shake well.
    2. Add the gin and shake
    3. Fill a glass (highball or goblet) with ice
    4. Pour the mixtures over the ice
    5. Top with club soda
    6. Add a slice of lime for a garnish


          You can interchange the gin for bourbon.

          Omit the alcohol completely for a non-alcoholic refresher

          Did you make this recipe?

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          gin rickey recipe

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