Why Pickle Juice Might Be The Ingredient Your Margarita Is Missing

If you're a tequila fan, you already know all about the miracle of science that is the pickleback shot. A straight (usually well) tequila shot is chased with a mouthful of pickle juice — sometimes straight out of the jar, depending on which bar you're at. The miracle is how smoothly the pickle brine makes the tequila go down — and the surprisingly delicious taste.

Tequila and pickle juice is a classic flavor combo. The pickleback shot is rumored to have originated at Brooklyn dive bar the Bushwick Country Club by owner John Roberts, via Brooklyn Magazine, but it has since gathered a worldwide fanbase. Folks have even spiked their jarred pickles with tequila for extra zip. 

No mixologist is without a few secret ingredients up their sleeve, and it's with this in mind that we bring you the fresh twist on a classic fave that you probably never even knew you needed. Introducing your new favorite frozen cocktail: the pickle juice margarita.

Why it works

Since margaritas are already typically made with either tequila or mezcal, the pickle juice margarita is a drink made in mixology heaven. The pickle brine margarita isn't a particularly new or off-the-wall concept. No dill fan bats an eye at a pickle juice Bloody Mary. Canadian-based Urban Distilleries sells artisanal dill pickle vodka at 50 bucks a bottle. Chilled Dills Pickle Vodka purveys a similar offering. Pickles and tequila go together like peanut butter and jelly.

In Spring 2021, San Antonio restaurant Taco Cabana officially introduced their pickle margarita as a limited-time menu item. The restaurant's unique menu item started as an April Fools' joke a few years prior, via Wide Open Eats. Georgia restaurant Saltcellar currently crafts its twist on the pickle margarita, playfully called the "Pickle Rick" after the iconic Season 3 Episode 3 of Adult Swim's Rick and Morty. Their variation adds house-infused jalapeno tequila into the mix for a spicy kick, per Southern Living. This unlikely underdog cocktail is putting its name on the mixology map.

Pickle juice margaritas work because of the natural compatibility of its star ingredients. According to Liquor Laboratory, the tequila base can be described as sweet, due to the blue agave plants it's made from, with a harsh finish. This tangy sweetness pairs well with the salty pickle brine. The accompaniment of the margarita's classic lime taste adds a perfectly sour finishing note to the cocktail's flavor profile. The pickle juice margarita promises a trip around the palate.