Chew on This: Bourbon brined pickles combine two great things

Can’t get enough bourbon? You’re not alone.

Sales of the spirit are sky-high— prompting a recent panic over a potential shortage.

But now food companies are getting in on bourbon fever with products that allow fans of this sophisticated sipper to enjoy bourbon in a whole new way.

There’s bourbon ice cream from companies like Batch, a small creamery in Massachusetts. We’ve seen it infused into cupcakes from Prohibition Bakery in New York City. It’s also in chocolate truffles, made popular by one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s favorites, Olive & Sinclair.

But would you try a pickle that been brined in bourbon?

Whiskey Sour pickles and Maple Bourbon Bread & Butter pickles are two of the top sellers at Brooklyn Brine in New York City.  Founded by Shamus Jones in 2009, the company has grown into an international brand in just a few years thanks to their catchy name and preservative-free brines. After years of working in restaurant kitchens, Jones wanted to try something new with pickling.

“Shamus thought bourbon would be a great way to get a unique flavor in his pickles. He wanted something with a little sweetness too, so we added maple,” Brooklyn Brine’s operation manager Elena Balletta told

The company doesn’t use just any old moonshine to cure their cucumbers. The artisianll pickle plant has partnered with Finger Lakes Distilling company for their distinctive 91 proof blend that’s aged in new charred barrels and finished in chardonnay casks. A bottle retails for $42.

We tried both the Spicy and original versions of the Maple Bourbon Bread & Butter pickles and think both have quite a nice sour kick. The sweetness is subtle but there’s a little heat in every bite—presumably from the smoky bourbon.

“There’s very little alcohol content in the brine, it’s really about just getting the flavor in there without  making it overwhelming tasting,” Balletta says.

Not a whiskey lover?

Brooklyn Brine has also teamed up with Dogfish Head Brewery to create an ale infused pickle with caramelized onions and Cascade hops they call the Hop-Pickle. The team at Brooklyn Brine is currently working on a line of condiments, and sees another partnership with the popular brewery in the works. Stout infused mustard anyone?

And if you like the idea of an edible pickle back shot but don’t want the buzz, don’t worry. Balletta assures us these pickles are safe for consumers of all ages.

“You don’t need an ID to buy our pickles.”