There were picklebacks poured in my home this evening.
Click here for my original report on picklebacks.
That first time I had a pickleback, I asked the guy next to me, “What the heck was that?” The guy answered “It’s a pickleback; I think it’s a New York thing.”
It certainly is. I can report that it’s not a Seattle thing. I’ve managed to get a couple picklebacks in Seattle, one at Tiny Bigs the cocktail bar for yuppies (in a good way). They found some pickle juice in the kitchen and set us up. It was fine, but I was a little annoyed that they put the pickle juice in tumblers instead of shot glasses.
The other place I asked them to make it was at The Bar on Capitol Hill. They were cool about it, but a) also served the pickle juice in tumblers instead of shot glasses, and b) the pickle juice they found was from sweet pickles. It was still delicious; the taste reminded us of eating hamburgers at summer picnics. “I taste hamburgers!” was the exact quote from E.
Anyway, the point is that it’s not a Seattle thing, so if I want to do it properly, I save pickle juice from jars of Claussen dills (the kind in the refrigerator case) and pour them at home. Converts are created every time. Every time.
The thing pickleback converts is that they seem to spontaneously create pickleback quotes, which are HILARIOUS. Sometimes the quotes come up after the first experience, but most often the first experience is about genuine surprise that it’s a pleasant experience. So it’s often the second experience that produces the quotes. I’ve forgotten many, since it’s taken me a while to notice. But I’ve got some of the more recent quotes here.
- “It tastes like… the ringing of a chime.” –jpv
- “…And time stands still.” –$T
- “…And then everything makes sense.” –BM
It’s a special drink that can evoke such spontaneous poetry.
I should disclose that Aric with an A reported not liking the pickleback; he is the only one I’ve ever met that didn’t like it. However I am suspicious because he complained of an “aftertaste” which is totally antithetical. Cheap pickle juice? I don’t know.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Rob of Manhattan’s Whiskey Tavern, who poured me my first pickleback on Thursday, March 25th, 2010–it was the UW vs. UWV Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament game. Some of my friends who try to be whiskey snobs are surprised to learn that picklebacks come from such a whiskey-centric place (the kind of place where people discern their whiskey) but to me, that’s exactly where the pickleback should come from… because they are good.
So far I’ve had picklebacks with chilled dill pickle juice, spicy dill pickle juice, and sweet pickle juice, and I must say it’s only the chilled dill pickle juice that brings the clarity of purpose that all of us have been seeking.