It's Official: Rickey Named DC's Cocktail

Take some gin (or bourbon), the juice of half a lime, a nice dose of soda and ice, and you have yourself the wonderfully simple rickey — now the official cocktail of Washington, DC.

That's right, folks. We may not have voting rights, but we have our own cocktail, so take that.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of writer and acclaimed bartender Derek Brown and historian/author Garrett Peck, the rickey has been revived and rediscovered during an annual summer rickey month. On Thursday, a group gathered at the JW Marriott downtown, and DC Councilman Jack Evans read a proclamation officially declaring the rickey as DC's native cocktail and naming the month of July rickey month for the District of Columbia.

As the cocktail historians have sleuthed out, Shoomaker’s, an old DC bar frequented by politicians, journalists and statesmen, is credited as the birthplace of the drink in 1883. Shoomaker's was located at 1331 E St. NW, the current site of the JW Marriott Washington, DC. There's even some handwritten recipe evidence from the cocktail's namesake, Col. Joe Rickey.

Want to taste DC's official cocktail? Brown has trained the bartenders at the JW Marriott's 1331 Bar and Lounge to craft genuine rickeys. Or try mixing one up at home with this recipe.