Rickey is Named Official Washington Cocktail

Washington, DC (July 18, 2011) – Writer and acclaimed bartender Derek Brown along with, historian and author of Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t, Garrett Peck have thoroughly researched the origins of Washington’s native cocktail, the Rickey.

Together with DC Craft Bartenders Guild, Derek and Garrett have created excitement around the Rickey and have helped  DC’s residents and visitors rediscover the refreshing drink.

The Rickey was invented in 1883 at Shoomaker’s, a well-known bar once frequented by politicians, journalists and statesmen. Shoomaker’s opened in 1858 and was located at 1331 E Street, the current site of the JW Marriott Washington, DC. The JW Marriott Washington, DC has commitment to providing authentic local experiences for its guest.

Further, hotel management asked Derek Brown to train their bartenders on crafting a genuine Rickey and will be serving the classic concoction at the hotel’s 1331 Bar and Lounge. A plaque unveiling celebration, with honorary guest Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, honored the birthplace of the Rickey at 1331 Bar and Lounge this past Sunday.

The Gin Rickey is a classic mixed drink. This highball is very simple (gin, lime juice and club soda) yet very refreshing and a good alternative to a Gin & Tonic. The drink was created at Shoemaker’s in Washington D.C. and a popular hangout for Congressmen. It was named after Colonel “Joe” Rickey, a lobbyist who died in 1903 and was known for entertaining elected officials in the area lounges.


  • 2 oz gin
  • juice of 1 lime
  • club soda
  • lime wedge for garnish


  • Squeeze ½ of a lime into glass.
  • Put the squeezed lime in the glass.
  • Add the gin.
  • Fill a highball glass with ice.
  • Top with club soda.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge.
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