March 18, 2023
With St. Patrick's Day falling on a Friday, there's a solid chance a greater than normal portion of the population is nursing hangovers on Saturday. One city donut maker is here to ease people's pain with a twist on what some believe is a tried-and-true cure.
Dottie's Donuts has unveiled a pastry coated with a whiskey glaze, topped with a pickle slice and served with a shot of pickle juice on the side. It's a play on the pickleback shot, and the vegan doughnut shop will be serving it at its three Philly locations all weekend – good news for anyone participating in Saturday's St. Patrick's Day bar crawls because this hair-of-the-dog treat will be for sale Sunday, too.
"One morning, after a long night of enjoying some beverages, we came up with the idea to do a pickleback as a donut," Dottie's Donuts owner Jeff Poleon said Friday. "Truly was inspired by a hangover." The Dottie's team recreated that fateful night in a video posted to Instagram on Thursday.
While Poleon and the Dottie's crew came up with the idea to put a pickle on a doughnut, the concept of pairing whiskey and shot of pickle juice has been a thing for a few years now. Downing pickle juice specifically to prevent a hangover, or cure one the morning after, can be traced back to Poland, Russia and some Nordic countries.
Some will say the key to this cure is the sourness of the pickle brine, but in reality the saltiness is why this works. Hangovers symptoms are largely caused by dehydration. The salt in the pickle juice causes a person's body to retain water and helps restore electrolytes. Downing a sports drink will basically have the same effect, but Gatorade doesn't come with a doughnut.
Pickle juice already is part of Philadelphia lore.
In 2000, Andy Reid was in his second season coaching the Philadelphia Eagles, and the team's first game was in Dallas against the Cowboys, where it was hot. It was 109 degrees, reportedly making it the hottest NFL game in history, at least at the time. The Eagles training staff opted to start pumping players full of pickle juice to prevent dehydration and cramps. By all accounts it worked. The Eagles started the game with successful on-sides kick and never looked back, defeating the Cowboys 41-14.
Researchers have since proven that drinking pickle juice relieves muscle cramps 37% faster than plain water.
For its pickleback doughnuts, Dottie's teamed up with Grillo's Pickles. To eat the donut, Poleon suggests taking a bite that includes the pastry, glaze and the pickle. Then with the the final bite, drink the shot of the pickle juice. Though, these rules aren't mandatory.
"I would never tell anyone how to eat a donut, especially this one, as it might be the first of its kind. We're all about the YOLO lifestyle here. If you're a dipper, a dunker, a chugger, we got the donut for you, and you are welcome here anytime," he said.
Besides the pickleback, Dottie's will serve three other St. Patrick's Day doughnuts all weekend: one topped with an Irish potato, a chocolate doughnut with vanilla drizzle and a filled doughnut with Boston cream and shamrock shake.
The pickleback donut is available all weekend long at Dottie's shops at 4529 Springfield Ave. in Spruce Hill, 509 S. Sixth St. in Society Hill and 5105 Rochelle Ave. in Wissahickon.