Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Gin Cocktails

Pale Horse Rickey

Pale Horse Rickey
Image: / Tim Nusog

The Rickey is a classic cocktail that sprang to life during the late 19th century in Washington, D.C., when it was first mixed together at Shoomaker’s Bar for a lobbyist named Colonel Joe Rickey. Joe favored the Bourbon Rickey (bourbon, lime juice, sparkling water), while subsequent experimentation crowned the Gin Rickey as the most popular version of them all. The modern Pale Horse Rickey takes a different route, using mezcal as the drink’s base spirit.

This twist was created by China Morbosa at Eveleigh in West Hollywood. Mezcal provides an earthy, smoky punch, while equal parts Manzanilla sherry and fresh lemon juice lend dryness, depth and citrusy tartness. Morbosa caps off the cocktail with a homemade mango-infused coconut water in place of traditional club soda. She makes it by cooking down coconut water with fresh mango and sugar and then carbonating the liquid with club soda.

If you want to hew more traditional, you can make the Pale Horse Rickey with gin or whiskey. But considering that this drink contains mango-infused coconut water, you might as well embrace the liberal take on the classic and use mezcal. Place a few edible flowers on top for a hint of floral aromatics with each sip.


  • 2 ounces Ilegal joven mezcal (or gin or whiskey)

  • 1/2 ounce Manzanilla sherry

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 2 ounces mango-infused carbonated coconut water*

  • Garnish: edible flowers


  1. Fill a highball glass with ice, then add the mezcal, sherry and lemon juice and stir briefly to combine.

  2. Top with the mango-infused carbonated coconut water.

  3. Garnish with edible flowers.

*Mango-infused carbonated coconut water: Cook 2 liters of coconut water until reduced by half. Add 1 finely chopped mango and 1 cup sugar. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Strain the mango, and let the infused water cool. Add 1 ounce club soda and swizzle.