What to do with pickle juice once you’ve smashed through the contents of the jar is a connudrum. This nutritious, tasty liquid canbe used in your food and drinks. Here’s how!
Your pickles are but a distant memory. But, before wondering how to make pickles at home or heading back out to the store, what to do with this magical green juice? As an ingredient in many homemade recipes to a DIY hangover cure, pickle juice can actually be reused in many clever and unexpected ways. Wasting it would truly be a crime. Here are some examples of how you can use pickle juice in the home, the kitchen and beyond.
1. Make Booze
As well as being a popular ingredient in many cocktail recipes as well as a chaser for whiskey, pickle juice is also known to give martinis an interesting taste when infused with vodka. By simply combining vodka, your pickle juice and (if you haven’t eaten them all) the pickles themselves for an optional extra flavor in a sealed mason jar, after five or so days you will have your own pickle-flavored vodka ready to be used in shots and homemade cocktail recipes alike.
For more ideas to try at home, look at our guide to making homemade liqueur.
2. Pickle Other Vegetables
As obvious as it sounds, pickle juice can be reused to pickle other vegetables such as onions and pickled red cabbage. This is an easy and practical way to get rid of any excess juice, as well as replenish your pickled vegetable stockpile.
3. Use as a Salad Dressing
Pickle juice, alongside the actual pickle itself, can be used to make a simple dressing. Similar to regular vinegar in taste, pickle juice when mixed with garlic, chives and other spices can be a fun addition to any homemade salad recipe. For an alternative taste, try our recipe for avocado oil salad dressing.
4. Drink as a Chaser
As odd as it initially may sound to the uninitiated, pickle juice is a popular DIY chaser for whiskey and bourbon. Referred to as a ‘pickleback’, this juice in shot form is known to give harsh alcohol a more savory and palatable aftertaste.
5. Kill Garden Weeds
Pickle juice’s useful properties are not limited to the kitchen. Due to its acidity and high salt content, this juice can be used in the same way as any store-bought weedkiller to attack any unwanted and invasive weeds in your garden.
6. Clean Copper Items
Cleaning copper pans and pots naturally at home can sometimes be a challenge. Again, due to its acidic properties, pickle juice can be used as a homemade cleaner for your greasy copper pans and even stovetops. Alternatively, pickle juice can also be left to dry on your copper household items to give them a unique aged finish.
7. Drink in Cocktails
Similar to the ‘pickleback’, straight pickle juice can also be used to liven up any homemade cocktail recipe. By simply adding the juice to your favorite Martini or Bloody Mary recipe or into an ice cube mold to be used later as an addition to any cold drink, your pickle juice can be reused to give your homemade cocktails a unique flavor. For a taste of summer, try our eight tasty recommendations for summer spritz cocktails.
8. Flavor Potatoes
Pickle juice, alongside the regular pickled cucumber itself, can be a fun addition to any potato-related dish. However, your juice’s use is not limited to just being an ingredient in a side dish. Try adding a small amount of pickle juice to your potatoes’ boiling water to give them a savory aftertaste.
9. Cure Your Hiccups
As well as being a useful ingredient in many homemade recipes, this salty juice has garnered a reputation as a home remedy for hiccups. Although the actual science behind this is vague, your leftover pickle juice can still be used as a replacement for regular water when trying to get rid of annoying hiccups.
10. Replace Electrolytes
Again, as well as being a fun addition to any homemade cocktail or cold drink recipe, your pickle juice can be used as a literal juice, also. Although unconventional, pickle juice has grown in popularity as a fresh and invigorating alternative to mainstream smoothies, as well as a source of electrolytes for post-workout.
11. Clean Your House
Similar to its use as a DIY cleaner for copper items, pickle juice can also be used to make a vinegar solution suitable for home cleaning. Simply strain your leftover juice and you will have a solution ready to use for stovetop cleaning and removing grease in your kitchen.
12. Steam Veggies
Pickle juice, as well as being an additive to your water for boiling potatoes, can similarly be added to any vegetable medley of your choice ready for steaming. For a more salty taste, try adding a splash of pickle juice to your steaming broccoli or carrots.
13. Marinate Soft Cheese
Again, vegetables are not the only foods that can be easily pickled at home. Try chopping up mozzarella or your own homemade vegan feta cheese and adding it to your leftover pickle juice for a zesty aftertaste. Alternatively, pickle juice can also be added to any vegan cheese substitute for extra flavor.
14. Use in Homemade Soups
Your leftover juices can be easily incorporated into most soups of your choosing. By adding some of your pickle brine to the broth of your soup whilst cooking, you can give any healthy vegetable soup a sweet and rich taste.
15. Cure Hangovers
Alternatively to the ‘pickleback’, pickle juice in shot form is also purported to help hydrate us and calm the symptoms of a hangover. Similar to helping relieve hiccups, the actual science behind pickle juice is unclear, but this natural remedy has still garnered a reputation for helping combat nasty hangovers. The electrolytes, in any case, will help to replenish any that were lost the night before.
16. Replace Vinegar
Similar to its use in salad dressings and homemade soup alike, pickle juice can simply be used as an alternative to balsamic and malt vinegar, also. Try adding it to your favorite salad recipe or marinade for an added salty taste.
17. Make Devilled Eggs
A holiday classic, making your favorite deviled egg recipe is a good occasion to incorporate your pickle juice, also. To do so, add a light amount of it to your egg mixture, along with the pickles themselves, to your classic devilled egg recipe for added flavoring. Alternatively, try adding pickle juice to our easy vegan deviled egg recipe.
18. Cure a Sore Throat
Pickle juice has also been reported to help as a natural remedy in relieving a mild sore throat. Whilst a more severe case should always be taken up with a doctor, pickle juice’s vinegar and salt are known to reduce inflammation in smaller doses. To do this, your pickle juice can be both gargled or drank straight.
19. Relieve Muscle Cramps
Again, pickle juice as a remedy for muscle cramps has become a popular natural remedy over the years. Despite not having much scientific credibility outside of simply hydrating, drinking or shotting pickle juice is still used by many to at least be a distraction from the pain of tired and cramping muscles.
20. As an Ingredient in Homemade Popsicles
Stuck with leftover pickle juice in the summer months? This juice can in fact be used to make refreshing and healthy homemade juice popsicles for you and your family. To make, simply mix your juice with sugar and pour it into popsicle molds along with your popsicle sticks before freezing.
21. Make More Pickles!
Still unsure of what to do with your leftover juice? Why not make more pickles? Your pickle juice can simply be reused to make another batch of pickled cucumbers. Just toss your newly cut cumbers into the jar containing the juice and wait a week or two.
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