Pickle Juice & Chili Salt in Your Beer

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

As a Jew, I’m not quite sure who St. Patrick is or why he has a day; I’m more familiar with St. Schlomo and his afternoon where you eat chopped liver and call your grandmother, but that’s neither here nor there. What is here and there is that some of you (many of you?) will be drinking beer today, and I’d like to tell you about something that I experienced involving beer last Saturday during a meeting of the “Bad Movie Club.”

To understand both the beer & the Bad Movie Club, we have to rewind to a time when a restaurant existed that no longer exists. That restaurant was a pop-up restaurant called Fatty Johnson’s, and it was a Zak Pelaccio joint inserted into the old Cabrito space on Carmine street; it was there just temporarily, as is the wont of a pop-up restaurant.

Craig and I went there with our friends Jimmy, Raef & Chris (of the blog Internals Plural) and we ate things like deviled eggs that had duck confit in them:


And a burger made with all kinds of fatty meat:


But what really caught our attention was the beer:


As you can see, the beer (a Tecate) had liquid floating on the top. And that liquid, according to our waitress, was a mixture of pickle juice and chili salt that, when you opened the beer, would go sliding into your drink.

A moment’s pause for a second, if I’m going to tell the truth: I remembered this as a combination of lime juice and chili salt. This became important later at the second meeting of the Bad Movie Club, as you’re about to see.

Whichever it was–lime juice or pickle juice–it really pepped up our beer! And it was memorable.

Afterwards, Jimmy invited us over to watch one of his favorite bad movies–“The Pirate Movie”–and if you watch this clip, you can see what makes it so delectably bad:

That song is called “Pumpin’ & Blowin’.” No comment.

So, anyway, The Bad Movie Club was born and a few weeks later, Chris invited us over to watch one of his favorite bad movies. His selection was “The Girl Most Likely To….” a TV movie written by Joan Rivers and starring Stockard Channing that is so remarkably terrible, it should win a Pulitzer Prize. Actually, you can watch the first scene of this movie here:

You’re welcome.

All of this is to say that while Craig and I brought wine, Jimmy and Raef came prepared with beer and pickle juice. They wanted to recreate the beer from Fatty Johnson’s!

That’s Chris, our host, on the left and Raef the pickle juice purveyor on the right:


I questioned the whole pickle juice thing. “Wasn’t it lime juice?” I gently prodded.

“NO!!!” everyone barked.

So I stayed quiet as I watched Raef spoon pickle juice on top of a beer can:


And I stayed quiet while Chris sprinkled on a combination of kosher salt and chili powder:


The moment of truth came when we all opened our beers, the pickle juice and chili salt slipped into our drink and we tasted.

And: whoah! That DID make our drink peppy!

It adds this savory, briny kick to what would otherwise be a boring beer. So if you’re drinking beer, this St. Patrick’s Day, and you see a jar of pickles on the table, say: “Hey, gang, let’s add some pickle juice to our beer!” Ignore the dirty looks and do as you please.

Of course, this all leads to one very important question: what movie will I screen at the next meeting of “The Bad Movie Club”? I’m thinking: “The Last of Sheila,” a murder mystery written by Stephen Sondheim & Anthony Perkins. It’s so bad you don’t even need pickle juice to make the beer taste sour.

1 thought on “Pickle Juice & Chili Salt in Your Beer”

  1. Why do Jews love telling people they are Jews? You very first sentence began with, “As a Jew…” ?

    I’m sick to death of religiious lunatics and my definition of religous lunatic includes white caucasions who are so deluded that they actually think they are some kind of separate race despits the overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.

    OK, having said that, thanks for the tip on beer.

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