Did you ever discover a half-eaten jar of pickles in the fridge, with all the liquid gone? You probably assumed it was because you placed the jar on its side, and the liquid somehow leaked out.
Well, you might want to consider an alternative reason for the missing liquid: Perhaps someone in your household is a pickle juice drinker.
….Sour reactions have long driven an untold population of Americans to swig the stuff covertly. “I am a closeted pickle-juice drinker,” says Dawn Crosswhite, 51, a therapist and clinical-social-work professor in Denver, who recently admitted her habit to friend Millete Birhanemaskel….
But now there’s hope. People who privately partake of pickle juice are finding it easier to go public, thanks to endurance sports. Athletes have discovered its electrolyte-replenishing qualities can be a savory alternative to sports drinks. There are more than 33,000 Instagram posts containing “#picklejuice,” many showing people chugging the stuff.
Ms. Crosswhite, a triathlete, has been stealing sips since childhood. A few months ago, a friend offered her what looked like a small energy shot containing pickle juice after a grueling bike ride in the Colorado Rockies.
“I thought, ‘Oh thank God, now I have a place to drink this,’ ” she says. “That little jar in a strange way validates that it’s OK to drink pickle juice.”
Devotees say they like pickles but like the juice even more because it satisfies a salt craving they can’t quite explain. Some gulp with pickles still in the jar, irking nondrinkers. When Mr. Keith went for more pickles at the July Fourth picnic, they were so dry from his sister’s quaffing the fluid that they resembled pickle chips, he says. “She could have waited until the pickles were gone.”
Katie Cerniglia, a Los Angeles podcast producer, tweeted at pickle purveyor Claussen to sell jars of juice without the pickles. Kraft HeinzCo. , maker of Claussen and Heinz pickles, says it is aware people drink the fluid but doesn’t plan to sell jars of it.
A spokeswoman for Vlasic maker Pinnacle Foods Inc. says: “We are not actively promoting drinking pickle juice, but if it’s healthy and it sells more pickles, we’re all for it.”
Other food makers are tapping the trend with pickle-juice soda, pickle-juice candy canes and pickle-juice ice pops. Sonic Drive-In introduced a pickle-juice slush this month….
Nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix says too much pickle juice could be a bad thing for people with high blood pressure or some pregnant women, given the high sodium content. “I wouldn’t drink pickle juice as you would your morning juice,” she says. “A shot glass is probably OK.”….
Kayla Ferguson, 28, a Denver corporate-event planner, didn’t like the juice until she got into a pickle during the last leg of a 100-mile Utah race. After mile 65, her legs were cramping, her feet hurt and she felt nauseated. Someone suggested she throw back some of the briny stuff—she rallied and placed third.
“Now,” she says, “I will go nowhere without pickle juice.”