The Pickleback

As my semester begins to thicken, the books and papers pile higher and higher, the work schedule has me listed for more and more closing shifts and my sleep cycle begins to get more fucked up than a freshman during their first frat party, I have been in great need of a new cocktail. There are only so many times when a young lad, such as myself, can drink right from a Jack Daniel’s bottle or a scotch half my age. I needed something new. I needed something that would put some “oomph” back in my very collegiate step.

I took to google and started searching for something new. I eventually got bored and thought everything was silly. I mean, look, I’m not gonna say your cocktail with St. Germain and Violet liquor and stuff aren’t fucking dumb, but it’s kinda fucking dumb. No shame. I needed something simple. I took to Instagram and started looking around. I remembered I followed Bulleit Bourbon and had an extra bottle of their Rye. I saw a post about adding pickle juice to their Rye. That is when it hit me. The Pickleback!

Oh, Pickleback, how I have forsaken you! Please forgive me and all your delicious glory. Now, the Pickleback is not my inception, it is from Reggie Cunningham of The Bushwick Country Club bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2006. He said he was introduced to this cocktail by a Southern woman who asked for a shot of pickle juice with her whiskey. What’s better is that he used McClure’s Pickles (my favorite brand of pickles which I happened to have a jar of). Enjoying pickles and pickling brine with alcohol is not a new theory. In Russia cuisine, it’s very common to munch of some pickles when drinking vodka and in Mexico, it is not uncommon to drink pickle brine with tequila. I think people are on to something.

The science behind this is rather simple. The vinegar of the pickle juice counteracts the acidity and terseness of the alcohol. Plain and simple. The combination of already great whiskey with exceptionally made pickles is an amazing drink. Whether you drink this as a cocktail or a shooter, you will be surprised by the lack of alcoholic aftertaste and the layers of flavors that range from corn to garlic, vinegar, and peppercorn.


  • 1 part McClures Picklejuice
  • 1 part Bulleit RyePour into a
  1. Cocktail: Pour into a shaker and shake vigorously with ice and serve in a rocks glass.
  2. Shooter: Pour each into separate shooter glasses (2oz each). Drink whiskey first followed by pickle juice.

God bless a good cocktail! When you see something delicious, it doesn’t mean you can’t make it or find something better. Sometimes it’s easier than you think. Want to see more? like this post and hit subscribe! Don’t forget to check out our other social media accounts and comment below!

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You can also find me on Instagram @devourfoodrecipes if you want to see some more of my delicious food-based escapades


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