Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | August 5, 2010

Rickey Contest Ends, But Rickey Consumption Goes On

The Third Annual DC Craft Bartenders Guild Rickey Month has come and gone, but DC remains hot and muggy. But as it goes, we have a New Champion who will reign over the city that birthed the Rickey: Alex Bookless of The Passenger. Her cocktail, The Root of All Rickey, came in first place in a very tough field that included Dan Searing of Room 11, Gina Chersevani of PS7s, Adam Bernbach of Proof & Estadio, and David Fritzler of Tryst.

I liked Alex’s cocktail – it was light and refreshing and was the only entry I tasted that effectively used both gin and bourbon in the recipe. That said, I think I preferred Dan Searing’s Balmy Rickey, which was simpler and really in line with the traditional Rickey. I also really enjoyed Adam Bernbach’s Salty, Limey, Ginny Thing, which was a really interesting and complex take on a traditionally simple drink. Making a more complex tasting Rickey while having it still be a Rickey is quite an achievement.

Svetlana at Brightest Young Things has the recipes for both Alex’s winning cocktail and Dan’s, which came in second. Here they are:

The Root of All Rickey by Alex Bookless

1.25 oz Hendrick’s Gin
0.5 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
Juice of half a lime
4-5 oz root soda (her recipe)

Build over ice and serve in a red wine glass or goblet.

Balmy Rickey by Dan Searing

1.5 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1/2 of a lime, quartered
8 lemon balm leaves, plus a spring
1 tsp 1:1 simple syrup
Soda water

Muddle lime with lemon balm in a highball. Add bourbon and simple syrup and stir. Add ice and stir again. Top with soda water and garnish with lemon balm sprig.

Kudos to the DC Craft Bartenders Guild for putting on another phenomenal month of original cocktails in honor of DC’s original cocktail. The Rickey is a tremendously simple cocktail and modifying it while having it still be a Rickey is a very tough task. But those who were able to do it produced some really great drinks that will hopefully stay on District cocktail menus for a long time to come.


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