Raspberry Lime Rickey
Raspberry Lime Rickey

A Raspberry Lime Rickey is a popular New England favorite made with a tart and sweet raspberry syrup, lime juice and seltzer! Enjoy as is or add your favorite spirit for a cocktail.

A popular New England favorite, the Raspberry Lime Rickey is a popular refreshing, fizzy, non-alcoholic drink that was once a staple at old-fashioned drugstore counters, where you could wash down an egg salad sandwich with a tall glass of ice, sweet bubbles, and shop a box of plasters in one place.

You can still find a few of those corner drugstores in the depths of Maine and Vermont, but they’re disappearing. In fact, a few decades ago in Cambridge, MA, the corner drugstore in my neighborhood was just such a place. Unfortunately, along with other shops of its kind, it no longer exists.

History of the Raspberry Lime Rickey

Like almost everything in New England, the raspberry-lime rickey has a history.

It all started in a bar in Washington, DC, after the Civil War. A lobbyist named Joe Rickey’s standard order of bourbon or whiskey on the rocks with seltzer and a squeeze of lemon caught on and spread across town. Lime soon replaced lemon, and during Prohibition in the Northeast, it became a popular mocktail, with some variation from region to region.

Demand for this mocktail continued into the 1950s and 1960s, with raspberry flavored as the fruit syrup of choice in New England. You can still find it on the menu in some restaurants.

How to Make a Raspberry Lime Rickey

There is no heavy lifting here. It is summer! And life is easy.

Make raspberry syrup by simmering fresh or frozen raspberries (it doesn’t matter what kind), sugar, and water until the sugar dissolves and the raspberries start to break down. Strain into a container to remove the seeds and refrigerate. This recipe makes about 2 cups of syrup.

The syrup will keep in the fridge for about a month, so you can also use it in iced tea or lemonade.

But the real deal here with raspberry syrup is the rickey. Pour into a glass, add some lime juice and a dash of seltzer. That’s all there is to it.

Can you do a rickey with other fruits?

Absolutely! The drill is pretty much the same. Substitute almost any berry (think strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and even cranberries), simmer with sugar and water, then strain through the syrup.

Can you make an alcoholic version?

The original Lime Rickey was made with bourbon, and you could certainly spice up your drink with it, but feel free to get creative. Gin, vodka, and even rum pair well with the raspberry syrup and lime in this drink.

Just add to taste depending on how strong a drink you want. For a slightly lighter version, substitute Prosecco or Cava for the seltzer, or make it with half seltzer and half sparkling wine or white wine.

Scale down the recipe if necessary

This recipe is a pitcher drink for 6, but it’s easy to scale up or down, both for large crowds and when you just want to enjoy a solo drink on a hot summer’s day.

How to Make a Raspberry Lime Rickey for One: Combine 3 tablespoons raspberry syrup and 2 tablespoons lime juice in a tall glass filled with ice. And top it off with 6 to 8 ounces of seltzer and enjoy.

More summer mocktails

Mixed Whole Lemon Lemonade

Agua de Jamaica (hibiscus iced tea)

Homemade pink lemonade

Lemonade with mint

Raspberry Lime Rickey

preparation time
5 minutes

cooking time
5 minutes

cool time
60 minutes

total time
70 minutes

6 drinks


For the syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

  • 1 Cup water

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

For the raspberry lime rickeys

  • 1 Cup raspberry syrup

  • 3/4 Cup lime juice

  • 48 ounces Club soda or unflavored seltzer

  • lime Wedges or rounds, for garnish


  1. Make the raspberry syrup:

    In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, water, and raspberries to a boil over medium-high heat (about 5 minutes). Turn the heat down to low and allow the berries to simmer and cook for 3 minutes, or until the berries fall apart and the sugar is dissolved.

  2. Strain the syrup:

    Place a fine mesh strainer over a glass container. Pour the syrup through the sieve. To make a syrup without small seeds or pulp, drain without pressing too much on the raspberries for about 5 minutes to avoid adding too much pulp.

  3. Cool the syrup:

    Chill the syrup in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until chilled.

  4. Prepare and Serve Pitcher Drinks:

    In a large pitcher, combine 1 cup raspberry syrup and the lime juice. Fill the pitcher with ice and pour over the seltzer. Stir to combine. Serve the Raspberry Lime Rickeys in glasses garnished with lime wedges or slices.

    You will be left with raspberry syrup. Just put the rest back in the fridge to use later.

nutritional information (per serving)
242 calories
0g Fat
63g carbohydrates
1g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!