My new book, Essential 3-Ingredient Cocktails comes out tomorrow! Pre-order on Amazon here.
This Raspberry Rickey mocktail is one of my original recipes from the book, and an easy favorite I return to time and again.
All you need are three simple ingredients to make this refreshing non-alcoholic cocktail, and it’s perfect for those times when you’re driving, you just don’t feel like imbibing, or you’re pregnant (like me)!
This Raspberry Rickey is cool and crisp, and it also happens to be the ultimate low calorie, no sugar-added summer mocktail.
A splash of freshly squeezed lime juice and few fresh berries are the only calorie-contributing ingredients, so you can have a few of these without ruining a diet or slowing yourself down in the summer heat.
And bonus – you can easily modify this recipe to make it a cocktail with bourbon or gin, and still keep the calories pretty minimal.
What is a Rickey?
The Rickey is a classic cocktail that was first invented in the American south during the late 1880s.
While it was first a bourbon-based cocktail, it later became even more popular when made with gin. Which is no surprise really, since junipery gin makes this citrusy sparkler even more refreshing.
The classic Gin Rickey is made simply with: gin, a squeeze of lime juice, and a generous pour of sparkling water. That’s it.
The lack of sugar, liqueurs, or syrups is really what differentiates the Rickey from other classics like the Tom Collins. And it’s also what makes it incredibly satisfying on hot summer days.
How many calories are in a Raspberry Rickey?
Let’s break it down. This recipe is made with: freshly squeezed lime juice, muddled raspberries, and sparkling water.
One and a half ounces of lime juice is about 30 calories and a single raspberry clocks in at just 1 calorie. I’ve used 8 raspberries here, so you’re looking at a teeny tiny 38 calories per Raspberry Rickey! Go ahead, have three.
If you opt to make your Rickey boozy, you’ll add 110 calories per 1.5 ounce pour of gin, making this is a 148 calorie cocktail (which is still pretty light!)
How to make it:
This is a super simple recipe. Toss some berries in a shaker and muddle them with lime juice.
Add an ounce of water and fill the shaker about ¾ with ice. You’ll want to add that ounce of water so that there’s enough liquid in the shaker to be able to effectively strain it. Too little liquid and the muddled raspberries will clog up the strainer.
Shake until things are nice and frosty, then fine strain the liquid into a tall glass filled with ice.
Top it off with sparkling water, and garnish with berries and a fresh sprig of mint. I used a lovely micro mint here, available from Gourmet Sweet Botanicals.
If you can get it, I highly recommend garnishing with fresh mint! It adds a cool aroma that intensifies the crispness of the mocktail.
Adding syrups for a sweeter drink
Note that this mocktail is unsweetened, just like the classic Gin Rickey. If you prefer additional sweetness, you can add a splash of simple syrup, fresh raspberry simple syrup, or even honey syrup.
Learn all about simple syrups in my Ultimate Guide to Cocktail Syrups. I’d start with adding a half ounce of simple or honey syrup, and then add more as needed to taste. But I think you might find that it’s perfect sans added sugar.
Don’t have raspberries? No problem. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries or cherries all work beautifully!
You could exchange the raspberries with a handful of just about any ripe summer fruit and have a delicious drink.
Just choose a fruit that muddles well and make sure to fine strain the muddled fruit and lime juice mix so that your mocktail isn’t chunky.
Flavored sparkling water
You can use any kind of sparkling water to make this, including club soda, plain seltzer water, mineral water, or flavored sparkling waters like La Croix, Waterloo, or Bubly.
Just make sure that it’s just flavor-added and not sweetened. You could also try the next level up of flavored sparkling water with the unsweetened juice + bubbly water blends from Spindrift, which have mild fruit flavors from the addition of real juice, rather than chemical flavors.
These are significantly more flavorful than typical seltzers, but still super low in calories and with very few grams of sugar.
My current go-to? Perrier Strawberry, Watermelon or Lime. There’s something about Perrier’s carbonation (smaller bubbles?) that I love, and it’s been my grocery store splurge the last month or so of this pregnancy.
Add a handful of muddled berries and a splash of citrus, and it’s mocktail heaven.
Make it boozy
If you want to make this a Raspberry Gin Rickey, you’ll add 1 1/2 ounces of gin and 1/2 ounce of fresh lime juice to the cocktail shaker with your muddled berries.
Skip the addition of the ounce of water – the gin will take its place. Now add ice, shake, fine strain, and top with 4-6 ounces of sparkling water.
When making a boozy Rickey, I use less lime juice and less sparkling water than when making it a mocktail so that you can really taste the flavors of the gin.
You may also like these drink recipes:
- How to Make a Classic Gin Rickey (And Why You Should)
- Spicy Jalapeno Mule Mocktail
- Dragon Fruit Cucumber Limeade
- Earl Grey Cobbler Mocktail
- Basil Lime Smash Mocktail
Did you try this recipe? Share it on Instagram or Pinterest and be sure to tag me @moodymixologist!
Raspberry Rickey Mocktail
- 8 raspberries
- 1 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- 6 oz sparkling water
- Muddle the raspberries in a cocktail shaker.
- Add the lime juice and 1 oz of plain water.
- Fill the cocktail shaker 3/4 with ice and shake until chilled, about 12 seconds.
- Fine strain the drink into a highball glass filled with ice and top with sparkling water.
- Garnish with raspberries and mint, and serve with a straw.