General Merchandise/HBC

Van Holten's Doing Its Part to Popularize 'Pickleback'

Wisconsin company bottling pickle juice as shot chaser, drink mixer

WATERLOO, Wis. -- Van Holten's is rolling out Pickleback Real Pickle Brine, a 32-oz. bottle of dill pickle brine for use as a shot chaser or cocktail mixer.

Van Holten's Pickleback Real Pickle Brine (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores)

"We are using real honest pickle brine," said Van Holten's president, Steve Byrnes. "This is the same stuff we've been making for over 100 years using our original recipe. We're just packaging it in a new way to fit the needs of our customers."

Van Holten's vice president of sales, Eric Girard, added, "There has been a buzz around pickleback drinks for years now and after watching bartenders trying to pour these shots from murky jars of pickle slices and seeds, we realized that we can make this much better."

Van Holten's Pickleback Real Pickle Brine provides users a consistent, easy-to-use, mess-free option for pickleback shots. It also makes adding brine to Bloody Marys, Beer, Pickletinis or any other cocktail simple. It goes on sale in June and Van Holten's has received interest from several national customers. It has also already received orders from the largest liquor store chain in Texas, Spec's.

A pickleback is a type of drink in which the drinker chases a shot of liquor with a shot of pickle brine. The brine helps neutralize the taste of the liquor and the burn of the alcohol. The Pickleback has several aliases, including "Piskey," "Piskey Whickle," "Bartender's Handshake" and the "Shot Eraser."

Founded in 1898, the Waterloo, Wis., pickle company makes the Pickle-In-A-Pouch and recently added Big Papa Dill Pickle Popcorn. Its products are distributed in all 50 states and Canada and can be found at convenience stores, grocery stores, liquor stores, concession stands and many other retail outlets.

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