These Gin-Inspired Pickles Are a Beautiful Union of Deli and Drink
The excessive consumption of gin is sometimes referred to as "getting pickled." This despite the fact that you're not literally "pickling" your brain. But could you possibly pick a gin to pickle actual pickles? More than a tongue twister, it's now a reality: Scotland's Hendrick's Gin and New York's Katz's Delicatessen have teamed up to create gin-inspired pickled cucumbers.
Though gin-flavored pickles may not sound like a natural match (beyond people being into gin-flavored anything these days), Hendrick's and Katz's said this first-ever collaboration between the two iconic brands stemmed from a common ingredient: cucumbers. Pickles, of course, start life as a cucumber; but Hendrick's Gin also uses cucumbers in its recipe. So when Hendrick's made a joke about gin-infused pickles on April Fools' Day, the concept quickly became more sensible than they initially realized.
"The signature expression of Hendrick's Gin is the curious yet marvelous infusion of our 11 botanicals in addition to rose and cucumber," Master Distiller Lesley Gracie explained. "Naturally, pickles, the cousin of our beloved cucumber, effortlessly blend with our gin's rich and intricate spirit. The botanicals take on remarkably compatible sensory characteristics when pickled and we're relishing this opportunity to collaborate on such an exciting endeavor."
The results are being billed as a "first-of-its-kind" gin half-sour pickle. They're non-alcoholic, and no actual gin is used to produce them; instead, the flavor profile is created with the help of Hendrick's botanicals – including whole juniper berries and cubeb berries – which are used as part of a 72-hour-long two-step brining process.
"To create this particular pickle concoction, we experimented with a variety of botanicals to marry the unique flavor profiles of Hendrick's and the Katz's half-sour pickle," said Katz's owner Jake Dell. "Ultimately, the key to creating the distinct and balanced taste of the pickles was emphasizing coriander in the brine, a common ingredient in Katz's pickles and Hendrick's Gin."
So how do you score some gin pickles? Buy them at katzsdelicatessen.com or at the NYC deli starting on September 27 for a limited time only. Bottles are $14.95 per quart and can be shipped nationwide. If you want to make sure you don't miss out, they suggest signing up for Katz's mailing list at katzsdelicatessen.com/shipping.html to assure you get a message the moment they go on sale.
But that brings up another good question: What do you do with gin pickles once you have them? "The Hendrick's Gin and Katz's Delicatessen Gin-Inspired Pickled Cucumbers are as perfect of an accompaniment to a Katz's Pastrami sandwich as an ingredient in our signature Hendrick's cocktails," Vance Henderson, Hendrick's Gin national ambassador, stated. "To bathe the palate in taste and wonderment, we were inspired by the light and alluring notes of the pickles to create an unexpected and refreshingly bright take on classic cocktails."