Most Rickeys are made with the following recipe:

Use medium size glass.
1 Lump of Ice.
The Juice of 1/2 Lime of ΒΌ Lemon.
Then add 1 glass of any Spirit or Liqueur fancied, Whisky, Gin, Rum, Bourbon, Calvados, Caperitif, etc. Fill with Carbonated water and leave rind of Lime or Lemon in glass.

So much controversy about the Rickey.

Weird that a drink that is basically a highball (Remember! Highballs go in 8 oz glasses!) with a dash of lemon or lime is so controversial.

Anyway, I’m not going to be too thorough with this, feel free to search the Internets and draw your own conclusions.

Attempting to grok the various sources on the Internets:

In the late 1800s there was a Washington lobbyist named Colonel Joe Rickey who drank at Shoomaker’s Bar. He enjoyed his Bourbon Highballs with a bit of “healthful” lemon juice and a lemon rind garnish in the glass.

When people noticed his beverage being prepared, they would ask to have, “What Colonel Rickey is having.” Eventually this was shorted to, “I’ll have a Rickey”.

Towards the beginning of the 20th Century, as Dry Gin began to become more popular than Bourbon, people started asking for the drink with Gin. At some time around then, someone made the Rickey with lime instead of lemon. From then forward, everyone, except Colonel Rickey, who stuck with Bourbon and Lemon, began enjoying the drink with Gin and Lime.

I’ve returned to the drinks roots, and made it with Wathen’s Bourbon, lemon juice, and lemon peel.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this drink, it is bracing, tart and refreshing.

On the other hand, while I see the magic of Gin and Lime, I think I prefer my Whisk(e)y Highballs with just Bourbon and a mere splash of Soda.

You can keep the lemon and save it for your Daisies and Whiskey Sours.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the drinks in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, the, uh, Sauterne Cup.