After enjoying Sunday Bruch in DuPont with my boyfriend and brother, the three of us walked around DC. Eventually, we ended up in Adams Morgan and stumbled upon the D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild’s 2013 Rickey Cocktail Finals at Jack Rose. We were confused, but curious. Despite having a lot of questions like “what’s a Rickey?” and “why is there a $35 cover?”, we went in. And we were glad we did! This event was very fun and a unique look into DC’s drinking scene.
Let’s start off with the basics: What, exactly, is a Rickey?
The Rickey is one of Washington D.C.’s classic cocktails. A standard Rickey has only three parts: Bourbon or gin, carbonated water, and a squeezed half lime dropped in a highball glass. It takes its name after a late 19th century Democratic lobbyist named Colonel Joe Rickey, who was particular about having his daily Bourbon with carbonated water. Story has it that in 1883 his bartender at Shoomaker’s in Washington D.C. added a lime to the drink. Both the drink and the name caught on and soon people in Washington D.C. were ordering the “Joe Rickey drink.” A few years later the cocktail became a worldwide sensation when bartenders started to serve it with gin.
The best part about this drink is its versatility. I found that out first hand this Sunday at the 2013 Rickey Competition. Eight Bartenders from around D.C. crafted their own special take on Washington’s very own “Rickey.” For only a $35 cover, we got to try an unlimited number of these drinks, eat sandwiches, and watch the D.C. Craft Bartender’s Guild announce the top three Rickey cocktails of the night.
Here are the winners:
If you are upset you missed it, don’t worry! The event is annual.