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The Cocktail That Washington and “The Great Gatsby” Have in Common, and How to Make It

Can’t repeat the parties of the past? Why, of course you can. Just mix up some gin rickeys.

The Great Gatsby's protagonists drank rickeys in “long, greedy swallows.” Photograph via Warner Brothers Pictures.

What is the local connection to the massively hyped new film adaptation of The Great Gatsby? Well, as arts editor Sophie Gilbert points out, F. Scott Fitzgerald is buried in Rockville.

But wait, there’s more! Did you know that the rickey—the official cocktail of our city—gets name-checked in the seminal American novel? It happens in chapter seven, during a lunch scene chez Tom and Daisy Buchanan. The book’s protagonists consume the cocktail—gin-based in the novel, though the lime-centric long drink can be made with a number of base spirits—in “long, greedy swallows.” Washington’s connection to the rickey? It was apparently invented here.

So if you are a Washingtonian, and entranced by the film event that has the entire nation locked in its glittery grasp, you may as well mix yourself a rickey posthaste. After the jump, a recipe that uses Green Hat gin from New Columbia Distillers in Northeast DC. It comes courtesy of Derek Brown, the man responsible for rediscovering our rickey-rich history.

Gin Rickey

Glass: 8-to-12-ounce highball glass or wineglass

2 ounces Green Hat Gin
Half of one lime
Apollinaris sparkling mineral water (or sparkling water of choice)

Squeeze the juice of the lime into the glass, then drop in the juiced lime half sliced side down so it resembles a green hat. Add the gin. Fill the glass with ice cubes. Top with sparkling mineral water and stir.

This recipe appeared originally in the December 2012 issue of the Washingtonian.

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