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BOOZE BLOG REBELLION: We have some questions about the whiskey-pickle back

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It’s good?

4th Annual Jameson Irish Whiskey Presents Georgia On My Mind Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Georgia Music Foundation

We’re experiencing something of a crisis of thought here, because the whiskey-pickle back shooter is somehow ... good? Let us explain.

Whiskey, due to its various fermentations and myriad incarnations, stings the hell out of the human pallet, which is why we drink it in the first place. We need that crisp singe on Friday nights to spice up the dull, awful existence of our normal jobs throughout the week. Whiskey gets you there, beer floats you up into Olympus. It may be the other way around, but we don’t have time to tease out the direction of influence.

Good whiskey, we should note, must be either sipped or shot with nothing else. Good whiskey proclaims itself in baritone terms that are inarguable. Good whiskey pushes you into the wall, makes strong eye-contact, and says “it me.” That’s good whiskey.

BAD whiskey, on the other hand, does no such thing. Bad whiskey drops glass bottles off the bar and throws the 9-nine ball pool rack on the ground, which shatters, and then you bring it to your bartender and she goes to admonish six old rich assholes for acting like six old rich assholes in Cutty’s.

ANYWAY, Ole Crow is the shitty whiskey/bourbon of choice in Cutty’s, and Sarah recently introduced the pickle back option for whiskey shots. For those who don’t know — and really, who the hell are you? — a pickle back is a shot of whiskey and a shot of pickle juice. Normally zesty or some such other pickle juice. It’s gotta be strong.

The point here is this: you shoot your terrible whiskey then immediately back that up with a shot of strong pickle juice. Less than a second of shot-shot and guess what? Nothing has happened. The pickle has COMPLETELY ERASED any of the residual gag you may feel after shooting whiskey from a bottle that costs the bar you’re standing in $5.50 per bottle.

Alright. Let’s take stock of what we’ve said and done here. Whiskey, good whiskey, should never be followed by a pickle shooter. BAD whiskey, can often be improved or deleted by pickle juice. Do what you will with this information, especially when you’re shooting down Old Crow, because that stuff is downright bad.

Here is your PSA.