The Best Locally-Produced Pickles For Your St. Paddy's Day Pickleback
With Saint Paddy's Day on the horizon, it's time to pay tribute to one of the world's weirdest cult drinks—the pickleback. Whoever first thought of chasing a shot of whiskey with pickle juice must have already been three sheets to the wind, but we admittedly love this briny, smokey drink, sometimes also called a "piskey."
Instead of drinking straight Vlassic, we thought a few of these local pickle purveyors might be better options. Here are our three top picks for mixing with your small batch whiskey on Monday.
Coldwater Canyon Provisions
Rondo Mieczkowski and his partner Danny Barillaro founded Coldwater Canyon Provisions as a tribute to Mieczkowski's grandmother and the old-world way of making pickles. There are some more modern gourmet items on offer too, but what really shines are the brines on their kosher dills and dilled green tomatoes, perfect for your very own artisan pickle backs. Jars range from $8-12.
Coldwater Canyon Provisions pickles can be found on Etsy as well as Twig & Willow
Bruce's Prime Pickle
Bruce Kalman moved from Jersey to this fair city to start up his own pickle company, and to launch Union restaurant, which just opened in Pasadena. His brined goodies include Garlic Horsey Cukes, Cucumber Kim Chee, Bloody Mary Asparagus, Curried Cauliflower, Chi-Town Giardiniere, and Sweet Cab Onions. Of course, for the sake of Saint Paddy's pickle backs, the garlic horsey cukes would probably be best, but all the pickles pack a punch.
Picke making has been in the family for the Kreugermann's since 1896, but the company first started producing here in L.A. in In 1965. The German family makes some seriously delicious sauerkraut, gherkins, and cornichons using California produce. A personal favorite are their naturally fermented dills in cloudy brine. They also sell sauerkraut juice solo, if that's the sort of thing you're after for your pickle back.
Kreugermann Pickles are sold at retailers throughout SoCal. You can check locations on their site.