There may be no food in the world more divisive than the humble pickle. Some love it, some hate it, but everyone has something to say about it. Personally, I love pickles. So when I saw "pickleback" scrawled in chalk on the menu at one of my local bars, I knew I had to give it a try. When I bellied up to the bar, what came next blew my overworked college mind.

A rugged looking fellow complete with beard and flannel slammed two shot glasses on the bar in front of me. One glass was filled to the brim with Jameson Irish Whiskey. The other was filled from a makeshift bottle with a tape-label that read "pickle juice." I was instructed to shoot the whiskey and follow with the juice. When I did, I fell in love.

Before all you pickle-haters out there collectively dry-heave, let me just say that in all my days of drinking and chasing I have yet to find any combination that pairs as well as whiskey and pickle juice.

Perhaps it's the savory nature of the two liquids in question that enables the salty brine to completely mask the burn of the whiskey. Perhaps it's the pickle juice itself, which has for years been recognized as a hangover cure. Or perhaps it's the novelty of it all. But no matter the reasoning behind the phenomenon, people across America and Europe have fallen in love with picklebacks.

The beauty of the pickleback lies in its simplicity. It's nothing fancy— just a shot of whiskey chased by pickle juice. It's something most people could probably conjure up at home (though pickleback purists insist that using store-bought pickle juice is a sin). And by the time you've finished the bizarre task of guzzling a glass of pickle juice, you've all but forgotten the shot of whiskey you just forced down. All that remains tingling your tastebuds is the salty tang of pickling vinegar, and I think that's pretty neat.

ice, liquor, alcohol, wine, cocktail, juice, beer, whisky
Daniel Shuerman

But still, I realize not everyone out there will love pickles as much as I do. In any case, it's good to be aware of all the trendy drinks out there. And hey, who knows? Maybe your pickle-hating buddy is gonna lose a bet one day and I can't think of a better punishment, can you?

So the next time you see a curious little shot called "pickleback" on the menu at your local bar, go ahead and give it a try. You might just be pleasantly surprised.