Gin Pickles

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  12 pickles
Prep Time:  10 minutes Cook Time:  10 minutes

Gin Pickles

No, these pickles aren’t actually brined in gin. Instead, juniper berries, the ingredient that gives gin its essential character, go into the complex, exotically spiced pickling liquid. You’ll need two airtight glass quart jars with tight-fitting lids to make these. They will enliven a vegetarian mezze platter of hummus and tabouli, and any eggplant sandwich, but they’re great on a Chicago-style hot dog, or poking out of a martini. Be sure to allow for at least 2 days of pickling time.


2 cups white vinegar

¼ cup granulated sugar

20 juniper berries

2 cardamom pods

1 strip lemon or lime zest (about 2 inches long by ½ inch wide)

3 coriander seeds

6 caraway seeds

⅛ teaspoon ground angelica, optional

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 cups ice cubes

12 kirby cucumbers, washed and unpeeled


  1. To make the brine, combine the vinegar, sugar, juniper berries, cardamom pods, lemon or lime zest, coriander and caraway seeds, and angelica, if you are using it, in a medium, acid-resistant saucepan. Cover,  set over high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, uncover, and stir. Add the salt and stir until completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the ice cubes, stirring occasionally until the ice  melts.
  2. Cut the cucumbers lengthwise into quarters.
  3. Pour the brine into 2 quart-sized glass mason jars and distribute the cucumber pieces between them. Seal and refrigerate. After 24 hours or so, turn the jars upside down and continue refrigerating for another 24 hours. You can eat the pickles after the first 2 days. They will keep nicely for another week to 10 days. They should be semi-crispy when served.

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