It is the season of the Rickey cocktail. Recently proclaimed the official potable of the District, everybody has been talking about Rickeys. As July, aka Rickey Month draws to a close, many bartenders around the city are featuring variations on the classic summer refreshment, culminating in an event at Jack Rose on Monday night. (Our team will be covering that for you next week.) In that spirit, I felt compelled to tell you about my favorite recent Rickey – the Riquitita at Estadio.
Keen readers will notice that Estadio has been featured in this column just recently, but I think the Riquitita justifies the revisit.
When I told my drinks colleagues how much I enjoyed the Riquitita, Fedward informed me that it should come as no surprise. Alex Nichols, the bartendrix behind the recipe, has spent a great deal of time focusing on sodas and syrups to make interesting beverages for her boyfriend who does not drink alcohol. Since that is so much of what the Rickey is, it makes perfect sense that her’s would be so tasty.
Here, the soda in question is thyme-flavored – that is a sprig of fresh thyme you see in the glass, as well – which is subtlely savory and delicate. She adds cardamom and cilantro (two of my favorite flavors; really great and unusual to have them together) and Hendricks gin. It is so fresh and bright, but also interesting and sophisticated. You can tell that there was a great deal of thought behind how to get the most from each of the limited number of ingredients in a classic Rickey.
Other cities should be jealous of my hometown having such a delightful way to toast our civic pride.