The Pickleback

Have you ever had a Pickleback before? Although it is similar sounding don’t worry it has no relation to the band Nickleback.

The Pickleback aka “the Piskey” aka “the bartenders handshake” is one of the most delightful shots in the world. Well that is of course if you are a fan of pickles. It’s quite simple really the Pickleback is a shot of whiskey ( Jameson’s Irish Whiskey for best results) followed immediately by a shot of pickle brine. The pickle brine is the lemon to your tequila working to neutralize the whiskey taste and quickly dimnish the burn of the alcohol.

Whiskey and I don’t get along. (stop reading mom) Perhaps because my first experience with it was straight out of a pop can being a rebel under age drinking. (continue reading mom) Or maybe it’s because I’m not a burly man, because that’s who drinks whiskey right? Just Googled “Who drinks Whiskey” and came up with this site point proven.

However the Pickleback is another story. I LOVE THE PICKLEBACK. I was first introduced to it by my friend Pamela while in Banff on my Cross Canada road trip this past summer. I was really weary of it when I was told what it was, but I thought “Why not?”. I feared the whiskey the most but with my friend Candice at my side trying it with me, I took a breath and shot it back. I felt a brief moment of burn as I grabbed for the pickle brine and then delight rushed through my mouth chasing after the whiskey down my esophagus and I wanted more.

The place in Banff that I first had the pickle back was also home to the trashcan (an insane concoction of alcohol and red bull topped off with the crushed red bull can as a garnish right in the middle of the drink) and deep fried pickles, so I assumed that this was their signature drink  and that that was probably my first and last time ever trying said Pickleback drink. I thought wrong.

Apparently invented in Brooklyn at the Bushwick Country Club in 2006 this bad boy can be found everywhere.

While in Berlin hanging out at the U Berlin party with friends Nicole and Adam I spun around on my bar stool to check out the drink list and I screamed in delight “PICKLEBACK!!” Aside from the odd looks I got I convinced Nicole to try it with me. It wasn’t easy but she fell in love and we both agreed that the pickle brine at this particular bar tasted like McDonald’s pickles. Sounds disgusting, yes. But was so enjoyable that we had at least one more and forced it upon others.

I have since found the Pickleback at my favorite bar at home and I do believe I am a better person for it. Now run to the nearest bar and ask for one!

Actual quotes from two friends regarding the Pickleback:

Candice “It tastes like an infusion of unicorn tears, sour milk and a bouquet of roses. Yet, it works.”

Jesse “I’d rather lick a camels butt then have another Pickleback.”

To each his own…

Where did I put my recipe for pickle brine…. Have you heard of the Pickleback before? Would you try it? Tell me other odd drink concoctions that you have tried around the world.

To watch Jimmy Fallon enjoy a Pickleback click HERE.

#FACT: Pickle brine is also known as a good hangover cure ;)

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  • Reply
    April 13, 2012 at 2:11 am

    OH GOD I love pickle brine.

    You’re going to TBEX right? I’ll join you for one if we can find one!

  • Reply
    Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures
    February 21, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Don’t get me wrong…I love me some pickles. But pickle BRINE? With booze? I don’t even LIKE whiskey and the concept of the two together kinda makes me wanna vomit a little… #justsaying

  • Reply
    February 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I LOVE PICKLEBACKS!! It also helps that I love Jameson but I love pickle juice more. These are delicious.

  • Reply
    February 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I tried a pickleback once, but the results were not good. I think it probably wasn’t wise to use the cheapest whiskey my friends and I could find. Using garlic pickle brine probably didn’t help much either.

    • Reply
      Cailin O'Neil
      February 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      @Alouise: OMG!!! You definitely made a few bad choices there!!! hahaha Next time pick a quality whiskey and NOT garlic pickle juice! hahahaha

  • Reply
    February 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Whiskey and pickle brine, eh? Maybe I shouldn’t have read this at seven am lol.

    • Reply
      Cailin O'Neil
      February 6, 2012 at 12:13 am

      @Abby: Yes… might not sound that good early in the morning, but the next place we meet up somewhere in the world we will have one together! :)

  • Reply
    February 1, 2012 at 5:43 am

    I love whiskey, and I’m a fan of pickles. However the thought of combining them makes me feel a little queasy. Still – happy to try anything once!

  • Reply
    January 27, 2012 at 10:47 am

    I want that right now. Yum! And thank goodness there’s no relation to Nickleback…

    • Reply
      Cailin O'Neil
      February 6, 2012 at 12:11 am

      @Liz: No relation (that I know of) and I just had one three nights ago in Seattle! With spicy pickle juice! Yumm!

  • Reply
    January 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    haha, literally laughed out loud at “no relation to the band nickleback!” too funny.

    • Reply
      Cailin O'Neil
      February 6, 2012 at 12:11 am

      @jade: hahaha thanks Jade… I wonder if Nickleback would like them though… hmmm? haha

  • Reply
    January 25, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    I can’t describe in words how disgusting this sounds. Just the thought of pickles alone makes me want to barf. I’ll pass… more pickle brine for you!

  • Reply
    Steven Richardson
    January 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    “It tastes like unicorn tears!” I’m willing to try it.

  • Reply
    January 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I want! And I am a big burly whiskey man too! (Seriously, it is my drink of choice.)

    • Reply
      Cailin O'Neil
      January 25, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      @Dalene: I was going to say you looked slightly burly when we met in London….. ;) hahaha

  • Reply
    January 25, 2012 at 11:02 am

    ALL HAIL the pickleback!! I mean, I dont need to have another one for a few years but it was so good! Totally tasted like McDonalds LOL. Candice is hilarious!!!You forgot to mention the pickleback made us so happy the bartender asked us to be quiet. IN A BAR. ha!

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