The next time you finish that last pickle spear, don't pour the leftover green juice down the drain. You can use your leftover pickle juice in cooking, in cocktails, and as a post-workout performance shot.
Pickle juice gives the salty, sour flavor to cucumbers, and is made of water, salt, vinegar, calcium chloride, and other seasonings and spices. The ingredients alone hint at its usefulness as a flavorful ingredient, a brine, and a home remedy.
If you love a dirty martini, then you'll love a pickletini. The pickle juice gives it a bit of tang and replaces the olive brine in a traditional dirty martini.
- 3 parts vodka
- 1-2 parts cold pickle juice (depending on how 'dirty' you want it)
- Dash of vermouth
- Pickle garnish
- In a martini shaker filled with ice, combine all the liquids and shake a few times.
- Strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish with a pickle spear or a pickle flourish.
If you don't like martinis, then save your pickle juice for a hipster 'pickleback,' a shot of whiskey chased by a shot of pickle brine.
Pickle juice is the perfect brine (salty liquid) to pickle veggies and other foods. You can pickle carrots, red and green peppers, sliced onions, garlic, hard-boiled eggs, green beans, and almost any other vegetable in your leftover pickle juice.
Use your pickled veggies or pickled eggs as a side dish or as a zesty topping to salads and sandwiches.
Some athletes and marathoners drink pickle juice after strenuous workouts to replace sodium and electrolytes. There was also a study that showed that pickle juice had a positive effect on sports-related cramps.
This is an ingenious idea that I wish I knew of years ago. I love pickles and peppers in my sandwiches, and this recipe by HappyGoMarni puts the pickles (and juice) right in the bread. Neater sandwiches for the win!
The Russians and Eastern Europeans use pickle juice as a hangover remedy, and I'm inclined to believe these vodka experts. Just like the post-workout drink, the pickle juice replaces electrolytes and sodium after a night of hard drinking.
Use your leftover pickle juice to liven up any potato recipe, from dill potato salad to boiled potatoes.
Comedian Hannibal Buress is also a big fan of pickle juice. Just listen to how he flavors his sandwiches with it:
There are tons of things you can do with your old pickle jars too. First, de-stink your old jars the easy way, and then check out our guide on how to re-use your jars as terrariums, snow globes, soap dispensers, and photo jars.