The Gin Rickey

If that was Feh-bruary, I'm hoping this doesn't become Meh-rch.

Part of the reason I didn't post much last month was, Sean and I conducted a mega cocktailing session a couple weeks ago that yielded, like, 8 or so bloggable potations -- zero-ish of which I felt any excitement about. We were going for volume, and aiming to keep the necessary ingredients in line with what we already had on hand. Such cocktailing under pressure can still yield inspiring results -- and in fact, I always try to err on the side of fridge and pantry staples when composing recipes, because, you know, Shit At-Home Bartenders Have.

So maybe it was just Feh-bruary working its dour magic, or maybe the problem was that we relied on one book out of our entire cocktail reference library, a book I must now admit I find lacking in its organization, writing style, fonts and pretty much anything else you eyeball when you open a book.

(If you see this book cover, crack with caution...)

So, here I am with a backlog of recipes and a complete lack of anything to say about them... except, I suppose, this one. Because it doesn't matter how poorly laid-out a rickey recipe may be within the pages of a particular tome; a rickey recipe is forever timeless and foolproof (and boastworthy as its own mini-history lesson). Never mind the five inches of snow that's accumulated since this morning OF MARCH FIRST on the Montreal side street I look out at every day; wherever you're downing a rickey, it's at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny. Writer's block may be the sad side effect of a neverending winter and a glut of who-cares concoctions, but a rickey can always get your juices flowing.

A rickey is one of those categories of cocktails -- well, firstly, it's not technically a cocktail, it's a highball; second, what I mean is, it's like a smash or a shrub or a julep -- defined not by its primary liquor but by all the other stuff, which in this case means lime juice, club soda and a lime garnish. So you can have a bourbon rickey, a Scotch rickey, a sloe gin rickey, a vodka rickey, a brandy rickey and so on. (Although whatever you do, don't have a vodka rickey. Drink with purpose!)

Really, the rickey embodies all those qualities that make me most love a five o'clock cocktail (it's not just a blog; it's a thing you can do!). It's a good and proper drink, imbued with history and flavor (the gin rickey's especially nice with its gimme combo of juniper and  citrus), and it's got that elegant simplicity thing going that allows a feeling of all-is-rightness to wash over me, even when I'm stuck in a glut of wrong.

The Gin Rickey

(Adapted from the book pictured above, and really, I"m not looking to start turf wars here, I just don't find this book as handy and delightful as many others)

2 ounces gin

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

Club soda

Lime wedge or wheel, to garnish

Pour gin, lime juice and club soda, in that order, into a tall, ice-filled Collins glass. Stir briefly. Garnish with lime wedge or wheel.

Tasting Notes

A less-tall highball glass will suit if you don't have a nice, tall, slender Collins glass. Trivia: Add simple syrup or sugar to a rickey and you have a Collins.

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