Nearly everyone has had -- or at least heard of -- a pickle, but not many have encountered the pickleback. If you happen to be one of these people, don't feel bad, neither had Jimmy Fallon. That is until Rachel Maddow introduced it to him live on his show.
A pickleback is a shot of whisky (on the show it was Jameson) followed by a shot of pickle brine. According to Maddow, it is best to take both the whiskey and pickle brine down in one swallow. If your mouth is not quite big enough for that, you can chase the whisky with the brine. Picklebacks are used mainly with inexpensive whisky; the brine is said to neutralize the flavor and alcohol burn of the cheap booze.
The origin of the pickleback is unknown. Some say it was first served to patrons at the Bushwhick Country Club over five years ago. Among bartenders, it is considered a hangover cure because the pickle brine replaces the electrolytes lost in the night of debauchery. If you don't think avoiding a hangover is enough compensation for the taste of pickle brine, check out these new hangover cures.