How to Make a City Rickey Cocktail Inspired by Gin Rickey

How to Make a City Rickey Cocktail Inspired by Gin Rickey

What is Gin Rickey Cocktail?

Gin Rickey is a very popular, classic gin cocktail with 3 basic ingredients and easy to make. A colonel named Joe Rickey invented this cocktail in 1883 with the suggestion of his friends. Initially, when Joe Rickey started to drink it, bourbon was the main ingredient but in time it evolved to rye whiskey and gin. Nowadays, when you search for the recipe of City Rickey, gin will come up as the main ingredient. This is probably the reason we call it “Gin” Rickey =) You just need a highball glass filled with ice, 2 parts of bourbon, gin or rye whiskey, juice of half a lime and soda water to top up to make a Gin Rickey. But today, we’re going to make a City Rickey that I found on Absolut’s website.

I value this drink a lot because although the recipe is quite simple, I believe that the ingredients and how to mix them teach a lot about the basics of cocktails.

The Ingredients

You need 5 ingredients to make a City Rickey but these are very common ones that you will not have trouble having. In fact, if you’re into cocktails, I’m sure that you already have them in your drinks cupboard.

Just like the modified version of Gin Rickey, City Rickey also uses gin as the main ingredient. Other than that, you need triple sec, lime juice, soda water and cranberry juice.

As a fan of fresh ingredients, I love squeezing fruits to include in my cocktails but cranberry juice is one of the exceptions I have to make for the recipes. Luckily, there is a not-from-concentrate alternative from Ocean Spray which I can use comfortably.

With the addition of cranberry juice, City Rickey has a beautiful pink colour.

A hand pouring cranberry juice in a tall glass, making a City Rickey Cocktail, filled with ice.

How to build City Rickey

You don’t need a shaker or any fancy equipment to build your City Rickey. Fill your glass with ice, Add gin, lime juice and triple sec (I use Cointreau for that) first. Give it a good stir. Then add soda water and stir gently.

This is the part I love: add the cranberry juice slowly and watch it go down through the ice slowly. After that, it’s all up to you to stir it once more or drink it as it is.

You can put a cocktail stir stick and drink it by sipping or use a straw and enjoy. My set of cocktail equipment is all gold rose coloured and I love using matching colours, even though it makes no difference. I bought the stick I used for this cocktail from Amazon for £7.19 and they’re very pretty. You can see it and some other alternatives here if you’d like to check them out.

Cranberry is not a sweet fruit. If you use no-sugar-added juice, this drink will give you a sour taste. Add 1/4 part of Simple Syrup to your drink if you want it to be sweeter.

As you can see, making fancy cocktails at home is not hard and does not take too much effort. At first, you should try classic cocktails by paying attention to the ingredients and ratios. Firstly, try to understand what makes you happy, and which taste you love more. Afterwards, you can start modifying the well-known recipes and then get your hands on creating your own.

Let me know what you think about this cocktail. What other ideas do you have to alternate this drink? And if you like cranberry gin cocktails, take a look at my version of Cosmopolitan cocktail made with lemon drizzle gin, instead of vodka citron. Cheers!

A tall glass filled with ice and Cİty Rickey Cocktail, slices of lime on the ground.

City Rickey Cocktail

A varied version of gin rickey cocktail with the addition of cranberry juice.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Course Cocktails
Cuisine American


  • 1 1/2 part Gin
  • 1 part Triple sec
  • 1/3 part Lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 1/2 part Soda water
  • 1 1/2 part Cranberry juice
  • 1 piece Lime peel to garnish


  • This is a cocktail that is built, not shaken.
  • Chill your highball glass and fill it with lots of ice.
  • Pour each ingredient into the glass, stir with a long bar spoon if you have one.
  • Twist your lime peel and garnish your glass. Enjoy!
Keyword cranberry juice, gin, lime juice, soda water, triple sec

8 thoughts on “How to Make a City Rickey Cocktail Inspired by Gin Rickey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating