Pickleback Shot

A Shot of Whiskey and Pickle Juice, Anyone?

In 2004, the Boston Red Sox caught the attention of many people as their first basemen, Kevin Millar, revealed to the media that some of the players drank shots of Jack Daniel’s before the 6th game of the American League Championship Series. Some say it might have been their lucky charm for winning the World Series for the first time since 1918.

The Spirit of Mama Juana

“It was one of those group team things, like shaving our heads last year. What we had was one small Gatorade cup, with a little Jack Daniel’s in it. We passed it around and everyone symbolically drank out of the same cup, because we are a team. It wasn’t as if guys were drunk. Can you imagine Trot Nixon or Jason Varitek or Mike Timlin actually sipping alcohol before a game? No way,” says Millar at that time.

Pedro Martinez, on the other hand, claims that the team didn’t drink Whiskey. He said they drank the Dominican spirit Mama Juana — a spirit made from rum, red wine and aged with herbs and tree bark. “We took a shot of Mama Juana every single game, before the game,” says Martinez in 2013.

Pickleback Shot

pickleback shot, Jack Daniel’s, (c) 2014 Graceland Bar-B-Q

Pickle Back Shot

Whether the stories are true or not, I doubt Steph Curry or Lebron James drinks a shot of booze before a big game. But if they do, they’d probably want to give a pickle back shot a try. Why? That’s because aside from a nice shot of booze, you’d probably reap the healthy benefits of pickle juice! Wait, pickle juice is healthy? You bet! Scientifically speaking, pickle juice is proven to help in relieving muscle cramps quickly.

“The 100% natural ingredients function as a neutral inhibitor which addresses the cramp at the source. It replenishes electrolytes in the body and it contains ten times the electrolytes as most sports drinks,” said Filip Keuppens, the director for Sales and Marketing at The Pickle Juice Company.

Pickle juice has high electrolyte content promotes hydration. It also functions as an anti-diuretic which prevents dehydration when drinking alcohol and helps in the recovery of a hangover the next day.

The Pickle Back Shot is similar to a beer and shot combination; but, instead of beer, it has pickle juice and a shot of whiskey. The whiskey is drunk first, followed by the pickle juice. The name itself represents only the pickle portion of the shot; and because it is enjoyed at the end, they added “back” after the pickle. While some people tweaked the drink by drinking whiskey and having a bite of pickle, you wouldn’t get the same health benefits if you do it this way.

According to Keuppens, “As a chaser, the sweet-and-sour nature of the brine is said to neutralize the burn of the alcohol, and the salt acting as a masking ingredient to counteract the harsh taste of the spirit.”

The shot is believed to be introduced by Reggie Cunningham, a bartender at the Bushwick Country Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2006. Contrary to popular belief, he didn’t really invent the drink; rather, he learned it from one of his southern customers.

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