Yep, I am a gin drinker. The classic gin and tonic is one of my favorite cocktails. It’s crisp, light and refreshing. That said, I hadn’t tried a Gin Rickey and now, well, it’s my new favorite. After looking at these Gin Rickey drink recipes I think you will feel the same too.
If you have ever been in Washington DC during the hot months of summer, you will understand the importance of air conditioning. During a very hot and sticky summer in Washington DC during the 1890’s, this drink was created.
At a place called Shoemaker’s is where the Gin Rickey was born. The drink is refreshing, bubbly and quite frankly how people survived a hot DC summer day without air conditioning during the 1890’s. The drink’s namesake is Colonel “Joe” Rickey who was a Washington DC lobbyist. He came from Missouri and had a successful political career. He spent a lot of time entertaining at the Shoemaker.
A devout Democrat, he campaigned for President Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892. He was appointed to the Military Organization Committee of Cleveland’s inauguration.
So, where was Shoemaker’s? It was located one building up from the National Theater. Affectionally known as Shoo’s, was operated by William Shoemaker. His background was a Civil War sulter. A what? I know, I had to look it up. A sulter is a civilian merchant who sells provisions to an army, usually in the field. They sell their wares from the back of a wagon or tent and travel with an army to remote military outposts.
In the 1890’s Joe bought Shoemaker’s. Unfortunately, the last drink was poured in 1916 as the building was torn down and replaced with the Munsey office building.
Gin Rickey – Ingredients
half a lime
2 oz gin (I personally use Tanqueray)
Chilled club soda
Fill highball glass with ice. Squeeze lime into the glass – try to get as much juice as possible. I use a lime squeezer to help. Toss the lime rind into the glass. Add gin. Top off with club soda. You can experiment with different gins for this drink. There are now floral and fruity gins to try. Buy small samplers and have fun! (But, drink responsibly!)
The Gin Rickey is considered a variation on the Whiskey Fizz. But, did you know you can make a Gin Fizz? It’s a little sweeter than the Gin Rickey and has less citrus juice – be it either lemon or lime.
The basic recipe is:
2 oz gin
dash of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of powdered sugar (dissolves very quickly)
All ingredients, except club soda are shaken over ice and poured into a low ball glass filled with ice. Then top off with the club soda.
But I did find some very interesting variations:
Silver Fizz – add egg white
Golden Fizz – add egg yolk
Royal Fizz – add whole egg
Diamond Fizz – use sparkling wine instead of club soda
Green Fizz – (I am thinking Green Flash here) dash of Creme de Menthe
Purple Fizz – replace gin and lemon juice with sloe gin and grapefruit juice
(credits: serious eats.com, the spruce.com, inbibemagazine.com and wikipedi.com)