Monday, July 22, 2024

Yum? 5 Easy Cocktails To Make With Pickle Juice

As the days grow quicker, so does my palate. And with the cooler weather comes the desire to drink lip-smacking beverages that stimulate my appetite. Why stimulate my appetite? To make the foods of the fall taste even more robust.

With that said, may I suggest adding a touch of pickle juice in your craft cocktails? What? Pickle juice?  Didn’t that fad go out in the mid-2000’s? Believe me when I tell you, preserved vegetables have never gone out of style. Take it from anyone who has spent any time in hot climates or even in places where the temperature always hovers around freezing.  The refreshing crunch from pickles, may they be from cucumbers or even beets can add a lovely dimension to your mixed drinks.

And now, just like beer, you can buy pickle juice in cans!

Gordy’s has just introduced pickle brine, specifically made for cocktails. Here are five to get you started.

Whiskey is the Message
(There is sweet and sour in this little firecracker!)

  • ½ oz. pickle brine
  • 2 oz. Straight Bourbon
  • ½ oz. Fruitations Cranberry: Soda and Cocktail Syrup
  • 2 oz. Seltzer (plain)
  • pickle spear
  • lemon bitters

Prep: To a Boston Shaker filled ¾ with ice, add the pickle brine, the Fruitations cranberry syrup, the Straight Bourbon and then cap. Shake hard for 15 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass with one large cube of ice. Top with a bit of seltzer. Dot with lemon bitters. Garnish with a pickle spear.

Can’t Catch the MaineBrace 
(Rum takes the front seat to perfectly brined bread and butter pickles that are muddled with fresh lime and Thai basil to make this twist on the classic daiquiri.)

  • ½ oz. pickle brine
  • several ‘bread-and-butter’ pickle slices
  • 1 lime, cut into quarters
  • Rhum agricole (100 Proof White Rhum from Martinique)
  • 1 oz. cane sugar syrup

Prep: Muddle the lime with the bread and butter pickles. Add the pickle brine. Add the cane sugar syrup. Add the Rhum agricole. Stir again and serve with a fresh ‘bread and butter’ pickle slice floating on the top.

The Ashtray Continuum 
(A take on the classic mint-julep. Here, it’s made with gin instead of whiskey and a float of pickle juice for mystery!)

  • 3 oz. London Dry Gin (think Beefeaters)
  • 1 oz. dark cane sugar syrup- 2:1 ratio Demerara sugar to boiling water
  • ½ oz. pickle juice
  • fresh mint (slapped, never muddled)

Prep: Slap the mint. Add it to a julep cup. Add some ice. Add some more slapped mint. Add a layer of dark cane sugar syrup. Add a layer of pickle juice. Add a layer of ice. Add a layer of gin. And repeat to fill. Garnish with fresh mint and float some pickle juice on top for fun!

Dr. Roberts Dilemma 

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. roasted beet juice
  • ½ oz. pickle brine
  • 1 oz. roasted tomato juice – roast tomatoes @450 for an hour, cool, core,seed, peel and juice
  • ½ teaspoon fresh horseradish

Prep:  As you would make a Bloody Mary, prepare this cocktail, but do not shake it. Ever!  Roll your Dr. Robert’s Dilemma and garnish with the pickle brine and fresh horseradish.

Vietnamese Sugar Cane juice and pickle brine
(nước mía or mía đá is the common name in Vietnam for this sweet confection known to cool the body from the inside out.  I’m very fond of adding some kind of vinegar to mine, making the drink both sweet and sour- helpful on a cold day to warm you.)

  • 2 oz. Vietnamese sugar cane juice – nước mía or mía đá
  • ½ oz. pickle brine
  • 1 oz. brandy
  • ½ oz. orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)

Prep: To a Rocks glass with one large cube of ice. Add the brandy. Float the orange liqueur over the top. Spoon the pickle brine over that. Pour the sugar cane juice over to finish.


Warren Bobrow, a.k.a. The Cocktail Whisperer, is the author of four books, including his latest: Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics.





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