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Lime Rickey lore wanted

  • r
  • Ric Oct 17, 2002 08:29 AM

Lime Rickeys are the stuff of childhood memories if you are from....yeah, where? I thought they were a Brooklyn tradition, and now I find out they were a Boston tradition, too.(Am I right or wrong so far?) So I am calling on Chowhounds to set the record straight with (non-alcoholic)Lime Rickey memories. Which locale specialized in Cherry Lime Rickeys or Raspberry Lime Rickeys? Have they continued to be popular in the old neighborhoods or was it a "Fifties thing?" What was actually so special about them?

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  1. I grew up in NJ, and always thought lime rickeys were a Brooklyn tradition too! But I did find a "legend" that they were started in Washington DC?

    Link: http://www.seamansbeverages.com/flavo...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Linda W.

      My sister and I had non-alcoholic lime rickeys all one summer in Oklahoma in 1943 when my father was stationed at a Naval air base there. The adults put alcohol in theirs, as I recall.

    2. Ok, i had always thought they were a boston thing because no one I've met since anywhere else had ever had them. There was always a choice between a regular lime rickey, and raspberry lime rickey. You can still get them at many diner's in the boston area, but I had my first one at the once-ubiquitous brigham's. I think they still serve them there...

      2 Replies
      1. re: cctc

        but what I really want to know is, why are they called "rickeys"?

        1. re: cctc

          I knew I'd learn a few things! The link that Linda supplies re: Lime Rickey, mentions a certain British Colonel Rickey stationed in Washington D.C. in the 1920's. I don't know if that's a solid explanation or a rickety one, but it's good enough for me!

      2. I grew up in Southern California, and loved the Cherry Lime Rickeys from the J.J. Newberry soda fountain. A tall fountain glass Rickey was 15 cents (this is mid-50's). Just ran across a Cherry Limeade at the Sonic drive-in which was a close approximation, but maybe my taste buds have changed over the past 40+ years?

        1. I have no idea where the name originated, but there was a terrific Cherry-Lime Rickey on the menu at Delores' Drive-In on Wilshire Boulevard, just West of La Cienega Blvd (borderline of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills). I think it closed sometime in the 80's, but I still remember the Rickey and the burger with "Z" sauce".

          How could I forget. My wife still reminds me of the time Paul Newman winked at her there, as he passed our car on his way out of the inside seating area.

          I think there was another location, closer to Santa Monica, that lasted longer, but I'm not sure. Anyway.... the Rickey lives on in our memories. Lately I've been known to squeeze out and insert a wedge of lime into a can of Cherry Coke, but it's not quite the same thing.

          1. Lime Rickeys on the Wildwood NJ Boardwalk - YUM. So refreshing. The recipe on CH's homepage today for Pomegranate Lime Rickey sparked my curiosity.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cheereeo

              Anyone have a recipe for those Wildwood lime rickeys? My husband can't find a recipe that approximates what he remembers. Any other old-timers who remember? Evidently they were highly addictive.

            2. I worked at a Brigham's in Suburban Boston in the mid-late 1970's, and remember making both the regular Lime Rickey and the Raspberry one. Adding a pump of raspberry syrup was the difference.

              1. I grew up in Brooklyn in the 1950s and remember getting lime rickeys at the fountain. Maybe they weren't real lime rickeys, but it was a pump of the lime syrup added to seltzer.

                1. As I recall, the Lime Rickey cocktail is made with Rose's lime juice (which is heavily sweetened), gin and a squirt of soda, unless all you have is bottled. I think it'd be fun to experiment with those nice Italian fruit syrups to move the flavors around a bit, but this is the basis. I've also seen recipes that called only for Rose's and gin, shaken like a Martini, and this was the sort we featured at a theme party many years ago, a '50s cocktail party, with lots of old-fashioned hors d'oeuvres and of course everyone smoking.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Will Owen

                    Hey Will, I have always known the cocktail as a gin rickey (made from gin, lime juice, and soda, though I guess some add simple syrup or use Rose's), and the virgin drink of syrup and soda as a lime rickey.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      You could very well be correct there, as said rickeys were not actually a part of my native lore. Out there in the Illinois sticks, our idea of exotic drinks was Dr. Pepper … and if we did get lime syrup and soda (as I did frequently) it was called a "lime phosphate".