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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. 

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.

If you haven’t heard of a gin rickey before, then you are in for a real treat. Lime Rickeys are refreshing and great for when you want something a bit different.

how to make a lime rickey

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Why is it called a lime rickey?

lime rickey recipe

The lime Rickey is a great drink if you like history.

The person who created the lime rickey also named it. It was originally invented in the 1880s by a Democratic Lobbyist called Colonel Joe Rickey. 

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

The original version contains whiskey instead of gin and lemon instead of the lime. 

It wasn’t until 1883 that Missouri Rep William Henry Hatch added in the lime.

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. 

What is in a lime rickey cocktail?

gin rickey recipe

This classic Lime Rickey Recipe calls for fresh lime juice, simple syrup and club soda.

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. 

You can make your Gin Rickey in a high ball glass or a cocktail glass – both work really well. I like to garnish mine with a slice of fresh lime. 

how to make a lime rickey

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

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          gin rickey recipe

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