Pickle Back to Taiwan

by Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
March 17, 2010

Breslin drinkCynthia Sin-Yi Cheng

The Breslin
Ace Hotel
16 W 29th St
(Broadway & 5th Ave)
New York, NY 10001

Up on the second floor mezzanine bar (a great place to head when the scene downstairs gets to be too much), resident mohawked mixologist, TJ, knocked me out with his Pickle Back ($11). It’s a double shooter I can see starting my night with, to say good-bye and leave behind the woes of the day.

Breslin drinksCynthia Sin-Yi Cheng

Two equal shots; drink one after the other. First, Jameson, then wash it down with house-made pickle juice (compose of: salt, sugar, vinegar, water, dill, oregano, onion, garlic, chili, black pepper, coriander and mustard seed). This double shot took me all the way back home to Taiwan. I’ll explain why: I grew up drinking hard liquors like whiskey and brandy. It was the most available type of alcohol around because the Chinese just loved this stuff (we still do). The sweet, savory and sour taste of the pickle brine reminded me of the juices we have at home, such as starfruit (also known as carambola) and sour plum, which have similar flavor profiles. The Jameson with the pickle juice was just like Proust’s madeleines for me, albeit a bit less innocent!

P.S. This is an off-the-menu drink, but if you ask you shall receive!

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