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The Ultimate Guide to Pickled Additions for Vodka, Gin, and Tequila Cocktails

By: Risha Ganguly

pickle martini

When it comes to crafting the perfect cocktail, the choice of spirits and mixers is crucial. But have you ever considered the impact of pickled additions? You might be a fan of vodka or you might like gin the most or your preferred spirit might be tequila, adding pickled accompaniments can take your drink to a whole new level. Let's delve into the world of pickled delights and explore the best pairings for each spirit, including a nod to classic cocktails (because they are the life of any cocktail party!) and how to apply this guide to them. 


1. Vodka: 

New drinkers often start with this spirit, and it is indeed the spirit of every party. It is one of the best bases for a variety of cocktails. Which is why, if you want to pair pickles with vodka, the latter is the perfect canvas for you to do that. Let us look at how to give a pickle twist to your martini and what are the best pickled accompaniments for vodka. 

Vodka Martini 

The Vodka Martini, known for its simplicity and elegance, traditionally comes adorned with olives or a lemon twist. But why not switch things up? Our option for you is the pickled onion. Instead of the usual garnishes, try dropping a pickled onion into your Vodka Martini. The briny, tangy kick of the pickled onion plays beautifully with the clean taste of vodka, creating a lovely contrast that will redefine your Martini experience. 

Pickled Accompaniments for Vodka: 

Pickled Cucumbers: Classic dill or spicy bread-and-butter pickles can add a refreshing element to a Vodka Collins, enhancing the crispness of the vodka. 

Pickled Jalapenos: For a bold twist on a Moscow Mule, consider adding pickled jalapenos. The spiciness of the peppers complements the vodka, creating a lively and invigorating drink. 


2. Gin: 

This lovely spirit, a rather mature choice of drink, is made from juniper berries. The flavour would be perfect if you want to try out pickles and experiment with something different. So, why not start with the most popular gin cocktail of all time – the G&T and then look at a couple of accompaniments which would go best with gin. 

Gin and Tonic 

The timeless Gin and Tonic, a favourite among gin enthusiasts, can be enhanced with the addition of pickled green or black peppercorns. The subtle heat and tanginess from the pickled peppercorns elevate the herbal notes of the gin, adding depth and complexity to this classic concoction. 

Pickled Accompaniments for Gin: 

Pickled Orange Slices: Transform a Negroni by garnishing it with pickled orange slices. The sweet and tangy notes of the pickled oranges beautifully balance the bitterness of the Campari. 

Pickled Blueberries: For a creative twist on a Tom Collins, drop a few pickled blueberries into the mix. The burst of fruity flavour complements the gin's botanicals, creating a refreshing and unique cocktail. 

3. Tequila: 

When you think of a fun, lively party with friends, music and food, your most likely choice of drink would definitely be a delicious tequila-based cocktail! So, here are pickled accompaniments you can try with tequila, and a special shout-out to margarita! 



The Margarita, a beloved tequila-based cocktail, can be taken to new heights with the addition of pickled chilli salt. Instead of the traditional salted rim, rim your glass with this spicy and tangy alternative. The result is a Margarita with an extra layer of complexity that will amuse your taste buds. 

Pickled Accompaniments for Tequila: 

Pickled Mango Slices: Elevate your Tequila Sunrise by garnishing it with pickled mango slices. The sweet and tangy twist adds a burst of flavour to the fruity concoction. 

Pickled Asparagus: For a daring variation of a Bloody Maria, swap the usual garnish for pickled asparagus. The savoury punch of the pickled asparagus complements the boldness of the tequila, creating a memorable drink. 

Tips for Success: 

Balance is Key: Ensure that the intensity of the pickled addition complements rather than overwhelms the spirit. The goal is to enhance the cocktail's overall flavour. 

Experiment with Homemade Pickles: Creating your own pickled accompaniments allows you to tailor the flavours to your liking. Consider experimenting with different herbs, spices, and vinegar to personalise your pickles. 

Consider Pickled Ice Cubes: Freeze pickle juice into ice cubes for a gradual infusion of flavour. This works well with all three spirits, providing a continuous burst of tanginess as the ice melts. 

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