Somewhere out there in this wide, whimsical world, there is a man--no, at the very least, several men, by the sound of it--who have a deeply disturbing affinity for pickle brine.
Here is what one of those men has to say about one aspect of its versatile appeal:
A shot of whiskey backed up with a shot of pickle brine tastes good (way better than it sounds), but I feel as if there's something more to the pickleback: sentimentality, comfort. The pickleback is the macaroni and cheese of the cocktail world.Hmmm...while that last claim may indeed be a disturbingly accurate description of this horrid drink's place in the current cocktail hierarchy, when you think about how much salt and shittiness is in Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, why is that designation meant to imply it's something people should be drinking?
(courtesy Max Watman, HuffPo)
Is this a new thing, or are the kids already doin' it all over town? Would anyone really want to drink their way to a heart attack for no good reason, when whiskey tastes great all by itself or when shaken with some sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters?
Mr. Watman goes on:
The pickleback is a simple thing: a shot of whiskey chased by a shot (or a half a shot) or pickle brine. It seems safe to bet that might have been first served at the Bushwick Country Club, where they use Old Crow bourbon and brine from McClure's Spicy Dills. It's taken off, and gets written up appearing at good, popular bars on both coasts. At Elixir in San Francisco, owner H. Joseph Ehrmann serves his house barrel of Buffalo Trace whiskey. (For the record, I've had the whiskey from the barrel he chose, and it doesn't need backing, it's phenomenal.) At the Rusty Knot in Manhattan, they serve Jameson's."It doesn't need backing, it's phenomenal." I see...so other whiskeys he wants to shoot are just too shitty to get down without that guilty-pleasure chaser of pickle brine? If that is the case, I hope he figures out that buying better whiskey should solve that problem pretty easily, that and manning up or moving onto a more accommodating spirit.
Who in the Sam Hell needs a shot of pickle brine to get a whiskey down? Who would ever want to drink whiskey in the first place if they needed to chase it with brine? Who in the hell ever thought up this shit?
And, more importantly, what do these pickleback mooks do with all the pickles when they go on a bender? There's no way they can eat all that shit as fast as they drain that brine and that just sounds wasteful.
I'm gonna close my eyes and pray that they put them in a Tupperware container and overnight them to China, where I hear there are people starving, because that makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
While I'm at it, I will also pray that I never get a craving for those picklebacks, or I'm done for.
And for dessert:
[Note: Best viewed while drinking pickle brine. -Ed]