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spirits (American whiskey or gin), lime juice, carbonated water and ice

A particular unsweetened style of Cooler or Highball developed in the 1880s and named for ‘Colonel’ Joe Rickey that enjoyed great popularity in the 1890s and early 1900s.

The Rickey is a simple drink that emerged from a local fashion at Shoomaker’s bar in Washington, DC, and named for a lobbyist, Joe Ricky, who had briefly owned the bar. The drink, particularly the gin variant, enjoyed a great deal of popularity, nationwide, during the 1890s. The recipe, above, is from Harry Johnson’s 1900 book. The basic procedure:


Build in a tall glass filled with ice:

  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon, genever, Old Tom gin or dry gin

Fill with carbonated water.

Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails, p. 592–3; barware icons courtesy of Haus Alpenz