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The cherry lime rickey is a flavor-popping bubbly mocktail or cocktail! Serve it non-alcoholic, or add gin for a spiked variation.

Cherry lime rickey
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Here’s a bright, beautiful drink that works as a cocktail or mocktail: the Cherry Lime Rickey! Something about the combination of cherries and lime is pure genius, where the tart of the citrus perfectly accentuates the sweet berry. So combining it into a homemade mocktail or cocktail? Well, it’s pretty darn perfect. Here you’ll take a lime rickey mocktail and add a cherry syrup to bring in that candy-colored flavor. Both versions went over very well over here!

Love cherry and lime? Try Cherry Limeade, too!

What’s a cherry lime rickey?

The rickey is a popular cocktail that’s often made as a mocktail! It’s a variation on the Gin Rickey, a highball cocktail invented in the 1890’s made with gin, soda water and lime juice. The drink rose to worldwide popularity, and is even mentioned in books like the 1920’s novel Great Gatsby. The Lime Rickey spin on the gin rickey is often made as a mocktail: a bubbly drink with soda water and lime juice. But sometimes people slip in gin because…why not!

You can make this cherry lime rickey as a mocktail, or add gin to make it a cocktail. Either way, it’s incredibly tasty. The sweet tart flavor and the perfect marriage of lime and cherry make it absolutely irresistible. We like this drink because we can make a mocktail for our son and drink the gin version! Here’s what you need:

  • Fresh lime juice
  • Cherry syrup
  • Soda water
  • Gin (optional)
  • Marashino cherries and lime wedges, for the garnish

Where to find cherry syrup

You should be able to find cherry cocktail syrup at your local liquor store. Here are a few things to look for:

  • If you can, look for natural flavors. Many cherry syrups are made with artificial red colors, so see if you can find a version with natural flavors.
  • Cherry syrup does not equal grenadine! Grenadine is a popular cocktail syrup that people think is cherry, but it’s actually made of pomegranate. Try our homemade all natural grenadine!
  • However, we found a grenadine with natural cherry and pomegranate flavors. If you find something like this, it works too. You just want to make sure that cherry flavor comes through!
Cherry lime rickey

How to make the best cherry lime rickey

The cherry lime rickey is a great drink for entertaining because it looks so festive. The bright red against the yellow green of the lime makes it look like a LaCroix can design (note the photo above: am I right?). You don’t need much to make this drink stand out, but here are a few tips:

  • Use clear ice if you can. Clear ice is crystal clear, artisan style ice that you can make at home and cut into large blocks. It makes it look like a drink from a fancy bar! A side benefit is that using lots of clear ice makes for a super chilled drink (we actually tested this one with and without). It just tastes better with clear ice!
  • Don’t skimp on garnishes. The fun part about this drink is having at least 3 Maraschino cherries in your glass.
  • Add a festive straw if you like! We used these striped paper straws.

Variation: try the raspberry lime rickey!

Love fruity rickey variations? Try the Raspberry Lime Rickey! It’s essentially the same drink but with raspberry syrup instead. You can make homemade raspberry syrup in 10 minutes using fresh berries, or opt for store-bought. Either way, it’s a fun variation on the concept!

Raspberry Lime Rickey
Once you’ve made it with cherry, try a Raspberry Lime Rickey!

More great mocktail recipes

Love mocktails? We’ve got a great list of them for when you’re looking for non-alcoholic drinks! Here are a few of our top mocktail recipes:

Cherry lime rickey

When to serve a cherry lime rickey

The cherry lime rickey is sweet tart and delicious: as a cocktail or mocktail! It’s great for serving as a:

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Cherry lime rickey

Cherry Lime Rickey

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
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The cherry lime rickey is a flavor-popping bubbly mocktail or cocktail! Serve it non-alcoholic, or add gin for a spiked variation.


  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) cherry cocktail syrup*
  • For a cocktail: 2 ounces gin (optional)
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) soda water
  • 3 Maraschino cherries
  • For serving: Ice (try clear ice), lime wedges


  1. Add the lime juice, optional gin, and syrup to highball glass and stir.
  2. Fill with ice and top with sparkling water. Garnish with lime wedges and Maraschino cherries.


*You can find cherry syrup at most liquor stores, grocery stores by the alcohol, or online. We found a syrup that was grenadine with both natural cherry and pomegranate flavors, so that is also an option. (Grenadine is typically 100% pomegranate, so it’s not a natural substitute.)

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Mocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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