Two great tastes — whisky and pickle juice — together at last

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Some matches are meant to be.

But whisky and pickles? Don’t knock it until you give it a shot — literally.

It’s called a pickleback — that one-two punch of a whisky slug followed by a shot of brine — and on Dec. 10, Brooklyn Oenology in Williamsburg is featuring three whisky purveyors and three pickle pedlars, whose boozy shot combos are guaranteed to tickle your taste buds (and leave you sauced).

“It’s the cleansing nature of the chaser — you drink a shot of whisky, and then a shot of pickle juice, and it’s almost like the whisky never happened,” said TJ Provenzano, the event’s organizer, the manager of Brooklyn Oenology’s Tasting Room, and a former bartender at the Bushwick Country Club, which popularized the pickleback four years ago. “They’re dangerous like that.”

The combos — designed to highlight flavor contrast — will include the sweetly flavored Breucklen Wheat “Black Wax” Whisky paired with spicy and garlicky McClure’s pickle brine; Finger Lakes-based McKenzie Rye chased with Brooklyn Brine pickle juice; and caramel-tinged Kings County Bourbon coupled with smoky, spicy, vinegar-soaked Rick’s Picks Smoked Okra brine. All three pickle purveyors will be present, farmers-market style, to dole out samples and sell whole jars.

Not enough piquancy for your flavor-craving palate?

Local beef jerks, Field Jerky Co., are also setting up shop, with flavor varieties such as teryaki and honey spice to go along with each of the three saucy couplets.

“Our customer are going to be taking three shots of whisky, at least,” Provenzano said. “They’re going to need some jerky to snack on.”

Whiskey, Pickles ’n Jerky at the Brooklyn Oenology Tasting Room [209 Wythe Ave. between N. Third and N. Fourth streets in Williamsburg, (718) 599-1259], Dec. 10, 3 pm-midnight; Dec. 11, noon-10 pm. $5 per pairing; $13 for all three. For info, visit

Reach Arts Editor Juliet Linderman at or by calling (718) 260-8309.
Updated 5:28 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Homey from Crooklyn says:
And after people hurl who's gonna clean up the mess?
Dec. 1, 2011, 4:32 pm
GentrifyingBK from Greenpoint says:
You can't be seriously trying to pass this off as a new trend...
Dec. 2, 2011, 4:03 pm
Dave from WestBend says:
I'd love to see a survey of how many people think that both Whiskey and Pickle Juice are "great tastes".
Dec. 5, 2011, 5:27 pm
Igor from Kamchatka says:
The Russians have been chasing vodka with gherkins for millennia
Dec. 5, 2011, 9:48 pm
Jon from Carrol Gardnes says:
Doesn't sound like it would be for everyone, but I cannot wait to try this!
Dec. 6, 2011, 4:44 pm
Drew M. from Albuquerque says:
Heck, there's a drink in these parts (Albuquerque, NM) that starts with a shot of tequila, followed by a shot of tomato juice and then finished with a shot of pickle brine.

It's pretty tasty, actually. I think this combo would be darned good as well.
Dec. 6, 2011, 7:45 pm
pacoraybans from new england says:
Been there - Not really something you'd drink twice.

Why ruin good whiskey? Dont try this with anything better than CC.
Dec. 8, 2011, 10:02 am
Matt from Greenpoint says:
The best combo I have ever tried. Pickle Juice and Whiskey or Vodka is the best. The Polish and the Russians have been drinking this for decades!
Aug. 1, 2012, 7:12 pm
Stephen from Toronto says:
What kind of pickle juice goes well with the whiskey? Vinegar based or more sweet? I live in Canada and don't have the same brands of pickles you have in NY.
Feb. 5, 2014, 1:19 am

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