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Pickleback Shot

There’s no need to go to the bar with this recipe. You can experience the Pickleback at home with that jar of pickles sitting in your refrigerator.

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Pickleback shot

The Pickleback is an exceptionally intriguing whiskey shot that you simply must try. Undoubtedly one of the most popular shots ordered in bars all over the world, it consists of a shot of Jameson followed by a shot of pickle juice.

Chasing whiskey with pickle brine isn’t anything new; it’s been used as a hangover cure for a very long time. However, it wasn’t until 2006 at Brooklyn’s Bushwick Country Club Bar that Reggie Cunningham, a Brooklyn bartender, gave it the term pickleback. After then, it didn’t take long for the beverage to gain traction and expand throughout the United States and abroad.

Even though the pairing is strange, it works really nicely. Even if you don’t like pickles, you should try this drink since it has a unique, rich umami flavor that you won’t find in any other beverage. There’s also no need to go to the bar. You can experience the Pickleback at home with that jar of pickles sitting in your refrigerator.

Pickles in a jar

What About a Pickleback Cocktail?

You can definitely turn this fun shot into a cocktail. However, you’ll need the following equipment:

  • Cocktail glasses
  • Cocktail mixing glass
  • Double jigger
  • Mixing spoon
  • Ice

In your mixing glass, combine the whiskey, a shot of pickle brine, simple syrup, and lime juice. Pour into two ice-filled cocktail glasses. Serve with a garnish.

The Whiskey

Really, the whiskey is what makes a wonderful Pickleback shot. Any Irish whiskey, or any whiskey, for that matter, can be poured, but it won’t taste the same as a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey. Perhaps it’s the woody sweetness of this specific whiskey. Jameson Irish Whiskey makes the best-tasting Picklebacks, for reasons that are difficult to explain.

Although Jameson wasn’t the first whiskey, it is the most widely consumed today, which probably contributed to the shot’s success. Feel free to use any whiskey of choice; however, it probably won’t taste the same as a shot of Jameson Irish whiskey.

The first type of whiskey used by bartender Reggie Cunningham in the original Pickleback was Old Crow Bourbon. Pabst Blue Ribbon lager is another popular choice when it comes to pickleback shots.

Irish whiskey on wood

The Pickle Juice

The pickle juice you use isn’t as crucial as the whiskey you choose. Any type of pickle brine will do. Whether you choose the juice from that store-bought jar or your favorite homemade pickles, the shot will be delicious.

You can also have fun with the pickle juice. Bartenders have had considerable success experimenting with different pickle bases. To figure out which flavors you prefer, try spicy brines, fruity brines, or anything in between. If you want to stick to tradition, McClure’s pickles are the way to go. Dill pickle juice also has to be a fan favorite.

Another Shot?

When it comes to anyone who loves pickles, Jameson Pickleback shots are the way to go! You can’t go wrong with this Pickleback shot recipe if you want to recreate the magic that bartender, Reggie Cunningham did back in 2006. If you’re not into pickles and want a sweeter style of shot, our white gummy bear shot recipe is a fan favorite!


What Is a Pickleback Shot?

This is a shot of whiskey chased by a shot of pickle juice.

What Is the Best Type of Whiskey for this Shot?

While you can use any type of whiskey, Jameson Irish whiskey is certainly the best option.

How Strong is a Pickleback Shot?

The Pickleback is identical to a straight shot of whiskey since you are chasing the whiskey rather than blending the pickle juice with it. Jameson will make for an 80-proof shot (40 percent ABV). Pickle juice just increases the amount of food in your stomach, which may lessen the impact of the alcohol and help you avoid a hangover (unless you go overboard, of course).

Double jigger on shelf

When Was the Pickleback Invented?

Believe it or not, this shot is fairly new. It’s only been around for about 13 years. It is said to have originated in 2006 in New York.

Do I Need a Chase with this Shot?

You don’t need one, but if you do, a beer chaser is the way to go. Beer and that salty pickle flavor go well together! Stick to the light, crisp lagers if you want to give it a try. Among the most popular options among Pickleback drinkers are Pabst Blue Ribbon, Tecate, and Dos Equis. Speaking of, our mini beer shot might be for you.

Is Pickle Juice a Good Chaser?

Yes, it is! Homemade pickles are probably a better option, but anything will do! A shot of pickle juice will certainly do the trick.

Where Are Pickleback Shots from?

The Bushwick Country Club bar in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg is said to be the place where the word “pickleback” first appeared. Back in 2006, Reggie Cunningham came up with this interesting shot. Bartenders now occasionally refer to it as “The Pisky Whickle.”

Can I Use a Different Type of Alcohol for a Pickleback Shot?

If you’re not sold on a whiskey shot, you can try tequila or vodka instead.

What Type of Food Pairs Best with Whiskey Cocktails?

Nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate pair wonderfully with Whiskey.

What Is the Best Type of Pickle Juice for a Pickleback Shot?

I suggest choosing your favorite type of pickle juice. Dill pickle juice and bread and butter pickles are great choices that work perfectly.

Yield: 1 serving

Pickleback Shot

Pickleback Shot

There's no need to go to the bar with this recipe. You can experience the Pickleback at home with that jar of pickles sitting in your refrigerator.

Prep Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute


  • 1.5 oz Irish whiskey
  • 1.5 oz chilled pickle juice


  1. Gather all the ingredients.
  2. Whiskey should be poured into one shot glass, and pickle juice should go into a separate shot glass. Take a shot of whiskey and then a shot of pickle brine.


  • I recommend using Jameson Irish whiskey.
  • Any flavor of pickle juice will suffice. McClure's spicy pickle brine is definitely a fan favorite.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1316mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 0g

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