In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.* “Son, please don’t rip off the first line of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby for a booze blog post. “But dad, when life gives you limes, you make lime cocktails like F. Scott Fitzgerald did.” You see, when October hits, the seedless lime tree I planted in my backyard a decade ago goes bonkers, easily dropping 300 to 400 limes throughout the month. The lime tree giveth, and thus lime cocktails should be had.
This time of year, The Rickey cocktail is great for a number of reasons. For starters, the weather is still really hot and the drink is quite refreshing. Secondly, with the holidays approaching, it’s nice to get a no-sugar-added drink with a kick of vitamin C. Third, it’s really easy to make. Four, it’s a great event-drink; if you’re at a cash bar at a wedding, chances are a newbie bartender can whip it up with what’s on hand with great success. Lastly, it actually was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s favorite cocktail. Bonus: if you have mint, sugar, and rum, you can easily transform your Rickey into a Mojito. Don’t like gin? Make it with bourbon or your spirit of choice.
My Gin Rickey: Build the drink in a tall-skinny collins or small pilsner glass. Add 2 ounces of gin, squeezing in half of a fresh lime. Drop your ice in until it nears the top, then top the glass off with club soda or even sparkling lime water. Drop in a straw, then swizzle it around for 10 seconds to get everything mixed up and chilled, then sip! It really is that easy.
The Rickey cocktail was born in Washington D.C. in 1883 by Joe Rickey when a bartender added lime to his bourbon and sparkling mineral water. The gin rickey came a little later, most notably in in chapter seven of “The Great Gatsby” where the character Daisy tries to cut the tension, telling Tom to “make us a cold drink.” Smooches happen with Gatsby as Tom leaves the room, Daisy admitting her love to him. It really is quite dramatic, and a fantastic 99 cent read on Kindle…all while sipping a Gin Rickey of course!
*This line is actually the first line of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald