Misleadingly, this week's Cocktail O'Clock isn't so much a cocktail as, well I don't know what it is really. Apparently Soho Diner lists it under it's 'Strong Drinks' category, and I think that's probably the best fit. Essentially, its a shot of smokey whiskey chased down with a shot of pickle juice (yes, pickle juice) and I am really really late to these. Look, the Evening Standard said we were all drinking them way back in 2013 and yet I hadn't even heard of one until this week. I suppose the explosion of American BBQ style places is to blame and indeed, my first one was forced upon me at a launch for Joe's Southern Kitchen this week (more on that later). They're on the menu at Pitt Cue Co, Electric Diner and even Belushi's for goodness sake; I need to get with the programme.
Not being a fan of whiskey or pickled things, its safe to say I wasn't clamouring to try a Pickleback, but drinks expert Highball Hoodoo insisted upon it. Whilst slightly eyewatering, I was glad I did. Somehow the sweet briney pickle juice just totally works with it, and had the shots been half the size I daresay I would have come close to actually enjoying it.
You can apparently make it at home by going all out and making your own pickle juice and everything with some boiled cucumbers, onions etc. but be warned it takes at least a week - some people get really creative and make pickles from rhubard and all sorts. Here's a recipe if you fancy. Otherwise, why not just pick yourself up some of this stuff and give it a try.