Jump to content

The Rickey


Recommended Posts

As many of you are no doubt already aware, having probably seen this item in the Post or possibly this cool video, July was "Rickey Month" here in D.C. and the D.C Bartender's Guild sponsored a Rickey cocktail contest among the area's bartenders, and the winner was Central's bar manager Justin Guthrie, with his Black Pepper Gin Rickey.

The event took place at Bourbon in Adams-Morgan on Monday, August 4th, and it was loads of fun. All of the participating bartenders were there making their Rickey's during set periods (see the WaPo article and accompanying recipes for more details), and I thought that there was a genuine feeling of excitement as many of us in attendance learned about the wonderful versatility of the Rickey. All of the contestants made compelling Rickeys, any one of which I could be happy with being served to me. Most of the ones in the contest were not the kind that a home bartender could knock off in a few minutes, but that is the fun of the Rickey, it can be very simple or creatively complex.

There are very few "rules" when it comes to the Rickey, but it is generally conceded that it has to include soda water or other sparkling component. For example, Cork's Tom Brown (not a participant in the contest, merely an enthusiastic observer) recently made me a Gin Rickey using Boodles Gin, lime juice, simple syrup and prosecco for the bubbles, and it was delicious. Bourbon's Owen Thompson substituted coconut water dispensed from his charger for the bubbles in his Key Lime Rickey (Wild Turkey 101, key lime juice, simple syrup, coriander, Peychaud Bitters, coconut water). Apparently, a sweet component (i.e. simple syrup, honey syrup, etc..) can be used, or not, and you gotta have a lime component in there somewhere, too.

If you do a search on the word "Rickey" on CocktailDB.com you will find, as of today, 32 results, and they are all over the place, ingredient-wise.

As the press mentioned, the Rickey is one cocktail that D.C. can claim paternity for, and as the D.C. Bartender's Guild has demonstrated, we can claim it with pride. I hope that more bars and restaurants here embrace the Rickey and it becomes as well-known a cocktail for D.C. as the Sazerac is for New Orleans or the Manhattan is for New York.

With over a month left in this summer, how about some of you creative Rockwellians (Rockweilers? Rockwelters?) play around with your own Rickey experiments and post your adventures in Rickey-ship right here? Perhaps Don will come up with his own, signature Rockwell Rickey?

To borrow a bit of the pending Beijing Olympic's spirit, "Let the games begin!" :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday, Jonathan tried his hand at a "traditional" Rickey. To me, even just thinking about the combination of bourbon and lime juice was a turn-off. He was undeterred by my skepticism, as usual, and plowed ahead using Maker's Mark and sparkling water, since we don't have a seltzer siphon or a charger. Our mutual verdict: blech! A waste of good whiskey. He poured it down the sink, went out and picked some mint and made a mojito, which is a MUCH more felicitous combination of flavors involving alcohol, fresh lime and fizz.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday, Jonathan tried his hand at a "traditional" Rickey. To me, even just thinking about the combination of bourbon and lime juice was a turn-off. He was undeterred by my skepticism, as usual, and plowed ahead using Maker's Mark and sparkling water, since we don't have a seltzer siphon or a charger. Our mutual verdict: blech! A waste of good whiskey. He poured it down the sink, went out and picked some mint and made a mojito, which is a MUCH more felicitous combination of flavors involving alcohol, fresh lime and fizz.

Hmm. Perhaps it needed the sweet component of simple syrup? Maybe the "Colonel" just liked his a little more tart? Gracious, such a shame, Zora :lol: Oh well, at least you tried.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This month's Mixology Monday is on "local" cocktails - either a cocktail invented locally or using local ingredients.

So over at Scofflaw's Den we'll probably be doing our own rickey variations. I also saw that they posted Kevin's recipe (from Urbana) on the Washington Post site - that was one of my favorites from the rickey competition Monday night so I want to give it a shot making it myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Put in the freezer to get icy cold with ice particles: Stewarts's Key Lime Fountain Classic;

Add Rangpur Gin directly to the bottle, swirl to mix and SLURP the deliciousness. It's got the lime, simple syrup (sortof), bubbles and gin...and it's quite tasty even if not it's not really a Rickey! :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rickey Party

This Monday, August 3rd @ Bourbon AM, 6:30 to 10:30 P.M.

In celebration of Rickey Month*, the DC Craft Bartenders Guild held a month-long cocktail competition. Now come cheer for your favorite and try the ones you missed at Bourbon in Adams Morgan on August 3rd at the Rickey Party, sponsored by Hendrick’s Gin and Woodford Reserve Bourbon.

Votes are being tabulated as we speak and the winner of the "People’s Choice" will be revealed at Bourbon. Special guest judges Katsuya Fukushima of ThinkFoodGroup, Amanda McClements of Metrocurean.com, Going Out Guru Fritz Hahn of the Washington Post, Elba Giron of Weshootcocktails.com and “American Bartender of the Year” Jim Meehan of PDT will confer the Judge’s Award to a second winner for a $1,000 prize!

There will be a $10 charge at the door for attendees, which will include one classic Gin or Bourbon Rickey. There will also be multiple cash bars where contestants will be serving their Rickeys, which will be available throughout the party.

See you there!

*The Rickey is a category of mixed drinks closely resembling a highball made from a base spirit, half of a lime squeezed and dropped in the glass and carbonated water. Little or no sugar is added to the Rickey. Originally created with Bourbon whiskey in Washington, D.C. at Shoomaker’s bar by bartender George A. Williamson, purportedly in collaboration with Democratic lobbyist Colonel Joe Rickey, it became a worldwide sensation when mixed with gin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pick up your official D.C. Craft Bartender's Guild "Rickey Passport" (available at all 21 participating bars/restaurants):

Againn

Jaleo

Poste Brasserie

PS7

Ripple Wine Bar

The Passenger

The Tabard Inn

Tryst

PX

Urbana

Mie N Yu

Bourbon (Glover Park)

Room 11

Proof

Estadio

Chef Geoff's

Vermillion

Bourbon Steak

W Hotel

Café Atlantico

Bibiana

Get 10 (or more!) stamps on your passport and you can enter the final contest on August 2nd at The Passenger for free! Otherwise, it's a $10 entree fee, but that includes a complimentary classic Rickey :)

Note: a couple of participating bars have more than one Rickey to offer, so you can get several Rickeys taken care of with just a couple of stops.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Note: a couple of participating bars have more than one Rickey to offer, so you can get several Rickeys taken care of with just a couple of stops.

Yes - The Passenger has four by itself!

I've only had two of them. Gotta fix that this week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pick up your official D.C. Craft Bartender's Guild "Rickey Passport" (available at all 21 participating bars/restaurants):

Againn

Jaleo

Poste Brasserie

PS7

Ripple Wine Bar

The Passenger

The Tabard Inn

Tryst

PX

Urbana

Mie N Yu

Bourbon (Glover Park)

Room 11

Proof

Estadio

Chef Geoff's

Vermillion

Bourbon Steak

W Hotel

Café Atlantico

Bibiana

Get 10 (or more!) stamps on your passport and you can enter the final contest on August 2nd at The Passenger for free! Otherwise, it's a $10 entree fee, but that includes a complimentary classic Rickey :D

Note: a couple of participating bars have more than one Rickey to offer, so you can get several Rickeys taken care of with just a couple of stops.

I'm just reading this for the first time. I'm tempted to do all of these by August 2nd, just because it would be in the normal course of my life to do so. Okay, I can think of two that I'd have to make special trips for. :)

Problem being, too many Rickeys make me Loose-y.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wonder why Bourbon Adams Morgan isn't on the list? It's where I've made my bones on DC booze.

'Cause they're not participating? It's by bartender and the only one from Bourbon this year is Jess Crandall up at the Glover Park location.

Both Owen and Patrick, who are both from Bourbon AdMo, are at various Jose Andres places this year (Cafe Atlantico and Jaleo, respectively).

fixed Jose's name because I got yelled at

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pick up your official D.C. Craft Bartender's Guild "Rickey Passport" (available at all 21 participating bars/restaurants):

Againn

Jaleo

Poste Brasserie

PS7

Ripple Wine Bar

The Passenger

The Tabard Inn

Tryst

PX

Urbana

Mie N Yu

Bourbon (Glover Park)

Room 11

Proof

Estadio

Chef Geoff's

Vermillion

Bourbon Steak

W Hotel

Café Atlantico

Bibiana

Get 10 (or more!) stamps on your passport and you can enter the final contest on August 2nd at The Passenger for free! Otherwise, it's a $10 entree fee, but that includes a complimentary classic Rickey :)

Note: a couple of participating bars have more than one Rickey to offer, so you can get several Rickeys taken care of with just a couple of stops.

Does anyone know if there's a list of the specific drinks being offered available online? i loved, loved, loved the black pepper/lime rickey available at central a couple summers ago, and would love to have that again, or to be able to determine which are the rickeys i absolutely must sample...

also, how will the contest on the 2nd work--will there be samples or smaller sizes of all of the drinks available for purchase, or just the top contenders available in full size?

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The best I could do was the Going Out Gurus guide, where they took a picture of the passport. If you can blow the pic up, then you can see the drinks offered.

Alas, it doesn't tell you what the components of each Rickey are.

It's a safe bet that most, if not all of them, are using Labrot & Graham Woodford Reserve Bourbon or Hendrick's Gin as their base (in at least one case, both in the same cocktail!) since Brown-Forman is a sponsor, but after that, it's a free-for-all.

I've only tried four so far, and I'm thrilled at the diversity of ingredients and the fun combinations. I sure hope that the D.C. Craft Bartender's Guild is putting together a book someday with all of the different recipes because there really needs to be an accessible record of them :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've only tried four so far, and I'm thrilled at the diversity of ingredients and the fun combinations. I sure hope that the D.C. Craft Bartender's Guild is putting together a book someday with all of the different recipes because there really needs to be an accessible record of them :)

I've managed to have 10 different ones so far, and there are some real winners out there.

And, unfortunately, some not-so-good ones.

But yes, they all have either Woodford Reserve or Hendrick's in them, since they're sponsoring the contest.

(And since I'm off to New Orleans on Sunday for 1.5 weeks, I'll probably be rickey-less until I get back...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With 26 Rickeys (and 21 establishments) participating, this contest has really taken off. I've tried 9 so far and have really been encouraged by this year's submissions.

In the past two years, there have been some wonderful submissions, all excellent drinks on their own, but some who really stray far from the original formula of gin/whiskey, lime, ice and soda. This year, the (limited) submissions that I've tried have a tighter nexus to the Rickey's core qualities. So, these are truly riffs, rather than total re-writes, of the Rickey. Hats off to those who work within these more restrictive constraints, I imagine it's much tougher.

Finally, I noticed an interesting trend this year in several Rickeys. I've had three that have a salty, mineral-ry quality that is different than any other cocktails I've tried. I'm not saying these cocktails should be (or should not be) considered as front-runners (I'm not a judge of this contest nor do I have any affiliation with the DC Craft Bartender's Guild). But rather, it's really cool how these contests get these guys exploring in the same types of direction, and I feel I've benefited by tasting some new concepts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No kidding?? I've seen speakeasies advertise more than this year's Rickey campaign.

They were hoping Jason Wilson would reveal it because they told him it was a secret.

:mellow::unsure::blink:

(I probably won't be able to make it, because by the time I found out I'll be stuck in work until at least starting time, and I work in Ashburn. Ah, well.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations to 2011 Rickey Cocktail Contest Winner, PS7's Gina Chersevani and her Rapture of the Rickey! :mellow:

To recap, here are the winners to date:

2011: Gina Chersevani

2010: Alexandra Bookless

2009: Clinton Terry

2008: Justin Guthrie

Will they post Gina's recipe on the DC craft bartenders guild website, as they've done in the past? Receives the sweet name award too: "Rapture of the Rickey."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...