Classic Gin Rickey Cocktail Recipe

You may have heard of this classic gin rickey cocktail if you are a gin drinker. But how did it get its name? According to Imbibe Magazine , a lobbyist named Joe Rickey preferred drinks without adding sugar, so a bartender made him one with bourbon, carbonated water, and some lime. Later, the classic rickey cocktail evolved to include liquors like gin, and it quickly became an eternally iconic libation. There are many things to like about this adult beverage, especially the fact that there is no added sugar.

Recipe developer Molly Pisula of Vanilla Bean Cuisine came up with this easy recipe that would be fun to try at your next dinner party or get-together. "This is a cocktail with only 3 ingredients and no sugar, so the gin really shines through," Pisula says. "For that reason, I recommend choosing a high-quality gin for this recipe. Other rickey cocktails replace the gin with bourbon, or rye whiskey." Keep reading to find out how to make this refreshing cocktail. 

Gather the ingredients for this classic gin rickey cocktail

For this recipe, you will only need to get 3 ingredients. Start with gin, which is obviously the main ingredient. You will also need lime and club soda. You can use any type of unflavored club soda, but we prefer quality brands, such as Fever-Tree or the classic Canada Dry. 

Once you have those things, you can make this classic gin rickey cocktail.

Juice the lime

First, cut the lime in half, and juice one-half, until you get ½ ounce of lime juice. "Feel free to add a little more lime juice if you'd like," Pisula says. "If you want to try a slightly different flavor, adding an herb, like a sprig of thyme or mint, is also delicious." Cut the other lime half into thin, circular slices. 

Assemble the cocktail

Generally, people serve this drink in a highball glass, but if you don't have one, don't worry. "You can also serve this in a Collins glass. In that case, adding the garnish at the end is easier," Pisula notes. 

Fill the glass ⅓ of the way with ice. "The more ice you add, the colder your drink, and the longer it will take for the ice to melt," Pisula says. "So using lots of ice prevents you from drinking a watered-down cocktail." Next, add the gin and lime juice, and stir well with a cocktail spoon. 

Fill the rest of the glass with lime and ice

Alternate adding ice and lime slices into the glass, until it's completely full. "You can absolutely just add all the ice at once, and then add the lime slices or wedges as a garnish," Pisula notes. "But when you are using a tall, skinny glass like a highball glass, it's hard to evenly distribute the lime slices without adding the ice a little at a time."

Add the club soda, and serve

Now, all you need to do is top the drink with a bit of club soda, and stir until combined. This club soda gives the cocktail a little bit of carbonation, and really brings everything together. This drink is great to serve at an at-home happy hour, or as an accompaniment with dinner. We hope this drink is worth raising a glass over. 

Classic Gin Rickey Cocktail Recipe
5 from 39 ratings
Enjoy all the nuances of a high-quality gin with this classic gin rickey cocktail recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bottle of gin with glass
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 1 lime
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 4 ounces club soda
  1. Cut lime in half, and juice one-half, until you get ½ ounce of lime juice.
  2. Cut the remaining lime half into thin slices.
  3. Fill a highball glass ⅓ of the way with ice, then pour in the gin and lime juice, and stir.
  4. Alternate adding lime slices and ice to fill the glass.
  5. Top with club soda, and stir until combined.
Calories per Serving 169
Total Fat 0.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 7.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Total Sugars 1.1 g
Sodium 26.3 mg
Protein 0.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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