Wildwood, New Jersey is famous or infamous for lots of things — their amazing boardwalk that includes amusement parks and a chapel, the song "Wildwood Days" by Bobby Rydell, mile-long beaches, an unflattering appearance on the TV show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and a damn good drink called the Lime Rickey. For this week's 10-Minute Happy Hour we'll be toasting long days at the beach, or as we say on the east coast, the shore, with the adult version of this beverage, better known as the Gin Rickey.
When I was a little girl my aunt MaryAnn took me to Wildwood for a day trip and bought me my very first Lime Rickey up on the boards at the famous Lime Rickey World. It's been decades since I've spent a day on that beach, but I can still remember that ice cold fizzy limeade like it was yesterday.
Basically, any drink with half a lime squeezed in the glass and topped with carbonated water is considered a Rickey. The Lime Rickey is non-alcoholic and usually sweetened with simple syrup. When it comes to cocktails the first Rickey, inspired by a D.C. lobbyist named Joe Rickey back in the late 1800's, was made with bourbon.
About a decade later gin took its place as the favored base spirit and to this day is beloved in the famous cocktail. Because this sip is so refreshing it's been called "air-conditioning in a glass", so for those of you without power and A.C. from the storms sweeping the U.S. — this cold drink's for you!
Makes one drink
Ice 1/2 lime, juiced with rind 1 1/2 to 2 ounces gin Club soda
In a tall glass filled with ice, squeeze the lime and drop the half into the glass.
Add the gin and top with club soda. Stir and serve.
Maureen C. Petrosky writes what she knows, food, booze and parties. Author of The Wine Club, she appears regularly on The TODAY show to share her vices (and advice) with the world. For more info check out www.maureenpetrosky.com or follow her on Twitter @maureenpetrosky