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 www.realmendrinkwhiskey.com 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 ;)