Serious Eats - "How to Make a Pickleback (and the Truth Behind its Origins)"
"But the pickleback as its own distinct pairing has a very specific history: It was created on March 12, 2006 at the Bushwick Country Club by a female patron who walked into the bar and saw then-bartender Reggie Cunningham eating McClure’s Pickles straight from the jar. The patron asked Reggie if she could have some pickle brine with a shot of whiskey; he served it to her and joined her in the drinking, and a star was born.
“I don’t think we were the first people to ever drink pickle juice with liquor, but as far as the phenomenon itself, I think Bushwick Country Club was ground zero that night,” says Cunningham, who now lives in Nashville, Tennessee. “We had restaurant industry people drink there after hours and that’s kind of how it spread, an organic thing through bartenders and eventually onto menus around the world.”
Now, the pairing is ubiquitous, says John Roberts, the owner of Bushwick Country Club. “It was mostly just bartenders who would know about it, and then it just blew up. It’s literally worldwide. One of my ex-employees was backpacking in Central America and a bar in the jungle had a sign that said, 'Try the Pickleback.'""