Jameson and Vlasic -- two great tastes that taste great together? It sounds like a dare: Take a shot of Irish whiskey and chase it with pickle juice. But the Pickleback is no dare -- it's the only green-themed drink I'll even consider downing tomorrow.
I hadn't heard of the pickleback until reading Jason Wilson's piece in The Washington Post last week. In an article that extols the virtues of Irish whiskey, he writes:
A Pickleback is simply awesome. Brine and whiskey make one of those mysteriously wonderful combinations, and it doesn't hurt that pickle juice is second to none in preventing dehydration (thus helping to stave off the post-St. Paddy's Day hangover).Awesome hangover killer? That's a strong endorsement. Before I committed to it for tomorrow, though, I had to try it.
The whiskey looked just fine, but the pickle juice seemed like neon in the shot glass. This was a moment that tried a man's soul. But I pressed on and downed the shot of whiskey. Jameson doesn't disappoint -- it's smooth, slightly spicy and a little woody.
Quickly, it was on to the pickle juice. I gave myself just enough time to think about what I was doing and feel like I was making a tremendous mistake. The brine was too salty and the whiskey taste was gang-rushed to the back of my mouth.
But by finishing the chaser, I was rewarded for the courage of my convictions. What didn't blend well initially somehow found harmony at the end -- like two discordant notes making a chord that's pleasing to the ear. This is a refreshing shot that deserves its rightful place among the Lemon Drops and SoCo and Limes of the world.