In which I throw down a gauntlet.

30 Aug

rickeySo I found something deeply troubling today while wandering through Wikipedia, as one does (wander through Wikipedia, I mean, not necessarily find something deeply troubling while doing it, although sometimes that happens too). From the entry on the lime rickey, second only to the gin and tonic as my favorite mixed drink:

The drink is rumored to be named for a Colonel Rickey, an English officer once based in Washington, D.C.. More popularly, the seaside resort community of Wildwood, New Jersey is cited as its origin.

Now, first of all, I should caution any Serious Historians in the making that, for some mysterious reason, citing Wikipedia as a source will generally get you laughed out of the discussion. I am also telling myself that as a source of comfort.

(Sarcasm in “some mysterious reason” aside, I do find that Wikipedia is pretty decent as a jumping-off point, or to give you an overview of a situation, as long as you take everything with a grain of salt. It’s totally okay for your research to begin with Wiki, IMO, it’s just that if your research is supposed to be in any kind of depth, it shouldn’t end there.)

I normally don’t have a beef with Jersey — they gave me Bruce Springsteen, for one thing, a couple of dear friends, for another, and for a third, the town I grew up in tended to get talked about by other DC metro area residents the way people from the rest of the country seem to talk about Jersey, so I feel a certain sympathy for them. There’s also the possibility that this is a situation where two people came up with the same thing (let’s face it, gin goes really well with lime, so adding the two together and throwing in some vodka isn’t that hard to come up with), and leaving aside the “named for a British naval officer” explanation, “rickey” was a pretty common name given to lime-based drinks, alcoholic and non.

But so help me, Garden State, I will fucking fight you over this.

Actually, having done a bit of poking around, it turns out that there’s also rumors that it came from Brooklyn, but let’s face it, “so help me, Garden State…” makes such a great last line that I don’t want to spoil it.

Further, I feel like trying to track down the ~real~ source would make an excellent book, or at least an essay. POTENTIAL AGENTS AND/OR PUBLISHERS, PLEASE TAKE A NUMBER.


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