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Michael’s-Style Hendrick’s Gin Rickey

September 14, 2010
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A perfect summer drink, Michael's-style.

The Gin Rickey is one of those classic, retro cocktails that taste so smooth and sophisticated. You might be surprised to know, though, that classic though it may be, the original version of the cocktail was not based on gin at all.

George A. Williamson, a bartender at Shoomaker’s in Washington, DC, invented the drink in the 1880s using bourbon. Legend has it that his co-conspirator in coming up with the potent but eminently palatable concoction with Colonel Joe Rickey, a Democratic lobbyist. About a decade later, gin replaced the bourbon, and the drink took off.

Our version at Michael’s starts with the mixology for the 1890s original. We fill a highball glass with ice cubes and add the juice of half a lime and 1 1/2 ounces of gin. But we prefer to use Hendrick’s gin, made in small batches by a Scottish distillery, which finishes the spirit with unusual, subtle touches of rose petals and cucumber mash, giving the product outstanding character. Then, we top up the glass with soda water, give it a stir, and add the traditional lime wedge, notched to fit neatly on the edge of the glass.

The result: an incredibly delicious, refreshing drink for this time of year. We think George and Colonel Joe would have approved.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 15, 2010 8:15 am

    yeah!! it is a perfect summer drink!!

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