So you think you’re hip? You think you’re cool? You’ve had a shot and a pickleback while listening to Nickleback? Well, if you’re tired of standing in lines to clubs you’ll never get in, up your game, quit doing shots with the cool kids and grow into a hipper, bearded cocktail, The Pickled Surfer.
For those who don’t know, picklebacks are a thing. Legend has it that this custom was originated in Brooklyn, presumably by a bespectacled, bearded gent with great hair and a flair for the unusual who paired a shot of whiskey with a shot of spicy bread and butter pickle juice and birthed a legendary combo. I was a late adopter, but I kinda love the flavor profile. It’s unexpected but wonderful, so when I ran across this recipe I knew I had to try it. So grab a mixing pitcher and add 2 1/2 ounces of whiskey, I went with Corsair Hydra cause I like having five smokes in a whiskey, 1 1/2 ounces of bread and butter pickle juice, I went with Farmington Pickling Co. cause we own the brand, and 3/4 ounce of fresh squeezed lime juice. Drop in some 18-21 Baltimore Bitters, artisan ice and stir, being careful to keep the back of the barspoon to the glass, like the cool kids do. Grab a julep strainer and pour over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wedge and a couple of those awesome pickles, all dusted with Old Bay Seasoning. Give the drink itself a light dusting of Old Bay as well, it’s good stuff.
Take a sip and wonder at the weirdly smooth mouth feel, the way the sweet acidity of the pickle juice complements the smoke of the whiskey. Realize that this pickleback cocktail is a lot like Nickleback. Sure we all say “Eeew weird” but if we stick with it, it’s kinda nice. Familiar, even. So do like your old Uncle Monkey and have the quesadilla, on the house, chased down by a Pickled Surfer. It’s what all the cool rockstars are doing. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.