Projects with Pickling

So we’re used to getting pickled around here. However up until last month the age old art of pickling foodstuffs had eluded me. I’d read about it and watched a few TV shows, but I’d drug my feet about actually getting to it. The peppers came out really awesome and you can try them over at St. Clair News Aegis.

My friend had also brought up the idea to pickle lemons. Something he read about online that sounded pretty novel to me. So I used a brine I had planned to use as a dessert brine on orchard fruit and thought I’d see how they’d turn out.  A month late the brine was still great and the lemons were funky. Bitter with notes of apple, cinnamon, and mint they’d be nice sliced thin in a Greek salad, but of course I had other ideas.

The first step was juicing the devils which were not the highest yielding I must say. After juicing four I only got  two thirds the normal amount. However the juice was quite pungent. Not only packed with citrus but also lots of notes from the apple vinegar. Given the fact I only had a little juice I thought I’d try some classical drinks with them that most everyone knows. Here’s my findings.

The Pickled Sidecar                                                                                                                                 1 ½ oz Cognac

1 oz Cointreau

¾ oz Pickled Lemon Juice

Shake with Ice and strain up with a lemon twist or sugared rim.

This Approach was pretty interesting. The Cinnamon was really brought out in the juice as was lots of pungent vinegar. This trend would continue.

The Pickled Lady

2 oz Gin

1 oz Cointreau

1 oz Pickled Lemon Juice

Shake with ice and strain up into a coupe.

This take on Craddock’s “White Lady” was less successful. The pungent pickled lemon was utterly dominant, nothing else could break through in the taste. However the fragrance was amazing and utterly breathtaking.

The Pickled Pilot

2 oz Gin

½ oz Pickled Lemon Juice

½ oz Maraschino Liqueur

½ oz Creme de Yvette

Dash Peychauds

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

I concocted this take on the aviation hoping some added sweetness and herbal notes could tame the pungent juice. This was probably one of the best uses I found for the juice. However the lemon was still the star.

So whats to be learned from all this? In the end when it comes to pickled lemon juice, less is more. The sour qualities do seem to be greatly enhanced, but perhaps my palate is to sensitive to citrus. Like Donn Beach lemons are not a favorite cocktail ingredient of mine. I’d rather use limes, white grapefruit, or fresh juicing oranges like Valencia. But they have their place. Perhaps I’ll try another batch with limes. I could see the pungent spicy juices preforming well in more Tiki related treats.

Try them out and let us know what you think! Get Hammered America!



About JFL

Joey or JFL as he is known by friends is a culinary trained mixologist from the Heart of Dixie Birmingham, Alabama. From a weekly column in the St. Clair News Aegis to his own experiments online JFL never stops doing work on Tiki and Cocktails. When he's not studying all things spirit, wine, and beer he's pursuing his own odd interests such as cartoons, cheesy old horror movies, horror punk, hair metal, and hockey
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