The Rickey is such a simple concept, but there’s beauty in simplicity.
By doubling the amount of sparkling water found in a typical highball cocktail, this delightfully refreshing, low strength (low-ABV) cocktail is made with no added sugars. It’s also incredibly flexible when it comes to what spirit you want to make it with.
Typically made with Gin, and originally made with Bourbon, the Rickey, like the Collins, can be made with almost any base spirit you like.
- 30 ml BASE SPIRIT (1 part)
- 10 ml FRESH LIME JUICE (1/3 part)
- 180 ml SPARKLING WATER (6 parts)
How to make it
- 1 – Add all ingredients to the highball / tall glass.
- 2 – Add as much ice as you can fit into the glass.
- 3 – Finish with a wheel of lime to garnish, then serve.
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Get nerdy with it
BASE SPIRIT –
You can really mix whatever your favourite spirit is into this recipe. For a slightly more unusual recommendation, why not try a Genever.
The old style of Dutch ‘Gin’ that uses both botanicals and grain spirit to create a taste that’s like a perfect blend of Gin and Whisky, delicious! It’s also a fun nod to the Whisk(e)y origins of the Rickey and its subsequent popularisation with Gin.
If you like the idea of the Rickey, but want something more portable, especially for hanging out with friends around the BBQ, then you need to try Ranch Water!
A modern classic, Ranch Water, is originally made by adding Tequila and a squeeze of lime to a bottle of Topo Chico sparkling water. (having first drunk a couple of ounces from the bottle to make room!)
Use this information as inspiration and make your own spirit and sparkling water mix in a glass or bottle.
FRESH LIME JUICE – Squeeze it fresh, a good guide here is 1/2 a lime per serve. You can buy fresh juice these days more easily if you are making a lot of drinks, but do make sure it’s for drinking, not for cooking. Also check that it’s not pasteurised and it’s not on a shelf at room temperature…because that’s NOT fresh juice!
SPARKLING WATER – For the Rickey, as always, we recommend something with high carbonation (strong bubbles) that will keep the drink nice and fizzy when mixed with the other ingredients. Making your own is a good way to control the level of carbonation and be more waste conscious.
For the Ranch Water, it really should be an ice-cold 12oz bottle of Topo Chico.
Why we chose this recipe for you
The Rickey was originally made with Bourbon, and was created by Joe Rickey, a lobbyist from Washington DC, in the late 1800s.
He worked out that by avoiding sugar you could stay cooler in the summer heat. So, instead of using sugar to balance out the acidity of the lime juice, like you would in a Daiquiri for example, he simply decided that by using less lime and more sparkling water, he could create a long refreshing drink without the need for any sugar.
Little did he know that his omittance of sugar would be right on trend over a hundred years later! The ABV (alcohol by volume) is also on trend too, as it’s lower than a standard cocktail. This is because, compared to a regular highball, the amount of sparkling water is doubled to quell the acidity of the lime juice in the absence of sugar.
Crisp, dry and refreshing, it’s a great concept for a hot and thirsty day! Soon after its creation, it was customized with all sorts of base spirits, and the Gin Rickey probably became the most popular of all.
Ranch Water is a modern classic from West Texas and it’s an excellent drink, especially if you want to drink a cocktail while standing out in the garden around the BBQ or other such informal gatherings. ZERO hassle, no B.S., 100% delicious drink!
You get the ease, practicality and refreshing qualities of a bottle of beer, but without all those pesky carbs that come with it (if you care about that sort of thing), and you also get to drink whatever your favorite spirit is, so it is highly customisable!
Ranch Water was originally made with Tequila and still is if you order it in Texas. It’s the specific use of Topo Chico and serving the drink in the bottle that means this isn’t a Tequila Rickey…because otherwise it really is. Therefore, with that in mind, we believe it’s fair game to mix in any spirit you like, just don’t call it Ranch Water if you don’t use Tequila…name it something else yourself!
If you want to try something you may have never thought of, then Gin’s predecessor, Genever, is particularly delicious (admittedly probably more of a niche choice!). It’s grainy notes and body of Whisk(e)y with some of the botanicals of Gin, simply delicious!
No doubt some Ranch Water purist will probably loose their mind reading this suggestion…but who cares, do what tastes good to you!
As always, don’t forget to show us what you made by tagging us!
@Candra_Drinks #MakeBetterDrinks #CandraDrinks