The Lime Rickey

The lime rickey is a sleeper soda fountain delicacy that I love. Not terribly sweet, not too citrusy, but with a sophisticated twang that comes from the addition of cocktail bitters. It’s a snap to make if you happen to have a little simple syrup lying around. Add to a glass about an ounce of lime juice…

…and ounce or so of simple syrup…

…about 3 drops of bitters…

And 6-8 ounces of soda.

Insert straw and drink!

12 thoughts on “The Lime Rickey”

  1. Now that brings back a lot of memories. My friend Ellen and I would often have lime rickeys on our way home from school (at Dolly Madison on Gun Hill Road, in case you were wondering). I think they might have been cherry lime rickeys, now that I think of it. I’m wondering if they actually used bitters, I really don’t know, but they were wonderful, served in a tall thin smoky glass with a straw, I thought it was the height of sophistication.

  2. I have no bitters currently but a neighbor and I have plans to see the vendors at Tales of the Cocktail. It’s a conference here in New Orleans, coming up soon, about . . . cocktails. I’m not willing to pay for the conference and the lectures and the dinners and lunches and whatever else, but I’m going to those vendors this year. What’cha want, Joe, bitter-wise? I’ll send it on.

    1. Ha! Hey Naomi!

      All I’ve ever tried was Angostura. That’s pretty much all I’ve ever seen. I’d be curious to sample anything different!

      – Joe

  3. My wife is from Peru, where a little egg white and Pisco (grapeskin brandy) is added to this in a blender to make Pisco Sours…heavenly!

  4. This sounds right up my alley. So, the internet tells me that bitters is basically a type of herbal digestif, which sounds interesting, but I don’t have any experience with it. Do you have an brand recommendations?

    1. From the picture, I’d guess he’s got a bottle of Angostura bitters. (Other famous brands include Peychaud’s and Regans’ Orange Bitters No 6.) They all taste pretty different, so I’d get a sampling to see what you like!

    2. Angostura is pretty much all I’ve ever used. There are probably some boutique brands out there these days, but I’ve never tried them!

      – Joe

  5. Here in Utah, we have a fast food place called Arctic Circle. (Also the originators of fry sauce!) They make what they call a lime rickey: sprite, fresh squeezed lime, and grape-flavored syrup. I grew up with this, so you can imagine my surprise that the real thing is different!

    Obviously, the grape is taking the place of the bitters in this situation. But now I want to try the bitters, and compare and contrast.

    1. Hey Ashley!

      That a pretty common addition to the classic Rickey, at least these days. Try the bitters version and let me know what you think!

      – Joe

  6. Joe –

    Is a juice like Rose’s Lime Juice traditional, or is fresh lime preferred?

    I see in your picture it looks like a bottled variety.


    1. Hi Jon!

      Bottled would have been the standard in the heyday of the soda fountain. I’m sure fresh is delicious as well. I used Rose’s because that’s what I could get me hands on!


      – Joe

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