What Is Vodka And Pickle Juice Called

What Is Vodka And Pickle Juice Called

Vodka and pickle juice may seem like an unlikely pairing, but this duo has taken the cocktail world by storm. If you've ever found yourself wondering about this odd combination and what it's called, we've got you covered. This article will walk you through the history, taste, and variations of this unique cocktail, as well as a realistic example recipe for you to try at home. It's time to explore the world of vodka and pickle juice.

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A Brief History of the Vodka and Pickle Juice Combination

The pairing of vodka and pickle juice, known as a Pickleback, originated in Brooklyn, New York around 2006. While the exact origin is still debated, one popular story is that a bartender named Reggie Cunningham from the Bushwick Country Club bar started serving it after a customer requested a chaser for her shot of whiskey. The bartender handed her a shot of pickle juice to wash down the harsh taste of the whiskey, and the Pickleback was born. Over time, vodka replaced whiskey, and the Pickleback shot rose to fame across the United States and beyond.

What's in a Pickleback Shot?

There are only two main ingredients in a Pickleback shot: vodka and pickle juice. The vodka can be of your choice, but it's recommended to use a higher-quality brand for a smoother taste. The pickle juice is typically from a jar of dill pickles - the more tang, the better.

Variations of the Pickleback

Although the traditional Pickleback shot uses dill pickle juice, you can always put your twist on it or try other variations:

  • Spicy Pickle: For a zesty kick, use spicy pickle juice or add a dash of hot sauce to your shot.
  • Sweet Pickle: Swap dill pickle juice for bread and butter or sweet pickle juice for a different flavor profile.
  • Pickletini: Combine vodka, pickle juice, and dry vermouth in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a martini glass for a pickle-infused martini experience.
  • Pickle Bloody Mary: Add a splash of pickle juice to your Bloody Mary for an extra tangy touch.

Why Do People Like the Pickleback?

Despite its seemingly odd flavor pairing, the Pickleback shot has become a popular choice for several reasons:

  1. The acidity and saltiness of the pickle juice help to neutralize the burning sensation of the alcohol, making for a smoother overall experience.
  2. The salty and tangy notes in the pickle juice enhance the flavor of the vodka, creating an interesting and unique taste.
  3. As hydration is key when consuming alcohol, the electrolytes found in pickle juice can actually help prevent dehydration and keep you feeling your best.

What Is Vodka And Pickle Juice Called Example:

Simple Pickleback Recipe

Ready to try a Pickleback shot for yourself? Follow this easy recipe for an unforgettable flavor experience:


  • 1 ½ oz vodka
  • 1 ½ oz dill pickle juice


  1. Pour the vodka into a shot glass.
  2. Pour the pickle juice into a separate shot glass.
  3. Take the shot of vodka, followed immediately by the shot of pickle juice as a chaser.
  4. Enjoy the unique taste sensation that unfolds.

Now that you know the ins and outs of the vodka and pickle juice combination, give it a try yourself or share this knowledge with your friends. Remember to enjoy responsibly and add your personal touch to make this trending cocktail your own. Be sure to explore other guides on Vodka Doctors for more tips and tricks on all things vodka.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is vodka and pickle juice called?

Vodka mixed with pickle juice is commonly referred to as a "Pickleback." While the term primarily refers to a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice, it has been adapted for vodka enthusiasts as well.

Who invented the Pickleback?

The Pickleback is often credited to Reggie Cunningham, a bartender who first concocted the drink in 2006 at a Brooklyn bar called The Bushwick Country Club.

Is vodka and pickle juice a popular drink?

While it may not be as widespread as other cocktails, the vodka and pickle juice combination has developed a cult following among those who appreciate its unique taste.

What are the benefits of drinking vodka with pickle juice?

Some claim that the electrolytes in pickle juice can help replenish minerals and prevent dehydration, making it potentially beneficial for those prone to muscle cramps or hangovers.

Can you use any type of pickle juice with vodka?

Yes, any type of pickle juice can be used, but the most common choice is dill pickle juice due to its balance of sour and salty flavor.

How do you properly serve a vodka and pickle juice cocktail?

Serving a vodka and pickle juice cocktail can be as simple as mixing the two ingredients in a glass over ice. Sometimes, the vodka can be taken as a shot with the pickle juice as a chaser.

What ratio of vodka to pickle juice is recommended?

A common ratio is one shot of vodka to one shot of pickle juice, but personal preference can adjust this ratio for a stronger or weaker taste.

Is the vodka and pickle juice combo suited for all occasions?

While it might be an acquired taste for some, this drink can be suited for casual get-togethers or as a novel option at parties where guests are open to trying something different.

Does vodka and pickle juice have a name as a combined cocktail?

When mixed together as a cocktail, vodka and pickle juice might be called a "Pickle Martini" or simply a "Pickle Cocktail."

What kind of vodka is best for pairing with pickle juice?

Most vodka enthusiasts suggest using a higher quality vodka for a smoother taste, but ultimately, the choice of vodka comes down to personal preference.

How can I make my own pickle juice for cocktails?

Pickle juice can be homemade by combining water, vinegar, salt, and various spices, typically including dill. This mixture is then used to pickle cucumbers and the resulting liquid is what is used for the beverage.

Are there any variations of the vodka and pickle juice cocktail?

Yes, variations can include adding other ingredients such as hot sauce, spices, or combining with other mixers like tomato juice for a twist on a Bloody Mary.

Is this a cocktail that can be pre-made for events?

While fresh is often best, you can pre-mix the vodka and pickle juice in a pitcher or dispenser for events as long as it's kept chilled and stirred before serving.

What are good garnishes for a vodka and pickle juice drink?

Popular garnishes include a spear of pickled cucumber, a slice of lemon or lime, or even a small pickle on the rim of the glass.

Is the vodka and pickle juice drink suitable for those with dietary restrictions?

Generally speaking, this cocktail can be suitable for those on gluten-free or low-carb diets, but as with any dietary concern, it's important to check the specific ingredients of your vodka and pickle juice.

Can you make vodka and pickle juice into a frozen drink?

Yes, you could blend vodka, pickle juice, and ice to create a slushy version of this cocktail for a refreshing twist.

What are the origins of using pickle juice in drinks?

Using pickle juice in beverages has Eastern European origins, where pickles and their brine have been dietary staples for centuries and naturally found their way into traditional drinks.

How does the salt content of pickle juice affect the taste of the vodka?

The salt in pickle juice can enhance the savory aspects of the drink, potentially making the vodka taste smoother and reducing the harshness of the alcohol.

Is a vodka and pickle juice drink high in calories?

Vodka and pickle juice drinks tend to be lower in calories compared to many other cocktails, especially when using traditional, non-sweetened pickle brine.

How can I tell if a vodka and pickle juice drink is for me?

The best way is to give it a try. Start with a small amount to see how you like the balance of flavors. If you enjoy savory and tangy tastes, you might find it surprisingly enjoyable.

Are there any popular culture references to vodka and pickle juice?

While not as prominently featured as other cocktails, the Pickleback has been referenced in various travel and culinary shows, showcasing its growing niche in the cocktail scene.

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Ferdynand Scheuerman

Ferdynand is Vodka importer, exporter and specialist with over 30 years of experience in the Vodka industry. He knows the subtle in's & out's of Vodka. Spending most of his time discovering new brands, new blends and new cocktails.

About Ferdynand Scheuerman

Ferdynand is Vodka importer, exporter and specialist with over 30 years of experience in the Vodka industry. He knows the subtle in's & out's of Vodka. Spending most of his time discovering new brands, new blends and new cocktails.

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