Cocktail Onions: The Happy Hour Pickle

Cocktail Onions OK, that’s not entirely true. There are way more than just one pickled fruit or vegetable one can incorporate into their cocktail repertoire. One of the more authentic local supper clubs offers pickled mushrooms as an option with their Old Fashioned and a friend of mine used to put a pickled green bean in a Martini magically converting it into a Green Beani. But when I’m going for a garnish apart from the olive, cherry or citrus slice I reach for the onions.

A recent issue of Imbibe magazine had an article on home-made cocktail onions and the Co-Conspirator suggested I give it a try. It was a pretty basic recipe of champagne vinegar, sugar, water, salt and pickling spice that makes way more liquid than you need. For the last ingredient I just threw together a mix of the usual things like allspice, cinnamon and cloves. The hardest part was peeling the little onions. I had purchased fresh ones with the skins still on so I blanched them and then we sat and tediously picked off the skins. Next time we make these I’m going to try using the frozen pearl onions. “Someone” seems to think those would work just fine, but I’m wondering if they won’t just be all mushy from being frozen. Maybe we’ll find out. In the meantime, this batch turned out well and we’ve been enjoying them in the occasional Gibson. If you’re so inclined, give making your own a try.