We Try TikTok Famous Kool-Aid Pickles
This sweet-tart snack is for every pickle lover.
Hot girls eat pickles. This is a mantra that’s been repeatedly stated on Twitter and Tumblr and TikTok and elsewhere, and although I don’t know its exact roots, I’m inclined to believe it because I am both a hot girl and a pickle lover.
So when I came across viral videos showing fellow hot girls making Kool-Aid pickles, I knew this was something I had to try—in the name of science and gastronomy. Is this going to be a vinegar and sugar revelation? Does its red and green hue make it an appropriate Christmas appetizer, or better yet, gift? Is adding Kool-Aid to pickles a completely absurd endeavor? All these questions, answered.
What are Kool-Aid Pickles?
Kool-Aid pickles—sometimes known as koolickles, pickoolas, or red pickles—are frequently found throughout the South. Atlas Obscura reports that a Mississippi-based convenience store chain, Double Quick, keeps this sweet and salty treat stocked.
The premise is simple: Add powdered fruit punch-flavored Kool Aid mix to a jar of pickles, stir, and let the pickles absorb the artificial fruit punch flavor over the course of a couple days. The longer you keep the pickles sitting, the redder and sweeter they become.
This phenomenon has spread to far away lands, like Montreal’s La Belle et La Boeuf where red pickles arrive alongside burgers, and Long Beach, California’s Wut-A-Pickle (which also carries a rainbow of other flavors like blue raspberry lemonade, watermelon, tropical berry, mango, and more).
If sweet and savory works in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, on a charcuterie board, or salt flecked chocolate chip cookies, who is to say that it won’t work in a pickle?
Making my own Kool-Aid Pickles
I knew I needed to find out for myself if this is an appropriate hot girl pickle recipe. For my own attempt at this, I added one ounce of powder to a 32-ounce jar of pickles (Grillo’s is my absolute favorite), stirred, and waited.
The color and smell initially threw me—is it possible for dill and garlic to live harmoniously with neon red fruit punch powder?—but I did not let that, or the negative responses to my Instagram story documenting this creation, deter me.
I ended up letting my pickles absorb the fruit punch flavor for two days. When I finally fished them out, they were as red as a Starbucks holiday cup and smelled equally like vinegar and Kool-Aid. I am not embarrassed to admit that I immediately salivated.
The flavor, you’ll be unsurprised to learn, tastes like how you would imagine it to: sweet, garlicky, salty, tart, and juicy. But instead of duking it out for flavor supremacy, the Kool-Aid shockingly tones down the abrasive garlic flavor and is a welcomed balm. I even drank the Kool-Aid dyed pickle juice, which was refreshing, and immediately decided it would make for a wonderful martini. Sure, it wouldn’t be the classiest cocktail in all the land—James Bond wouldn’t order it shaken or stirred—but I know my fellow hot girl pickle lovers would appreciate it.
What else should I add to pickles?
Spurred by the revelation that adding Kool-Aid to pickles is actually a good thing, I began experimenting. A packet of Hidden Valley Ranch powder in a jar of pickles makes for a seriously salty concoction that will annihilate your breath. But if you’re a fan of buttermilk ranch and pickles as I am, it’s fantastic. Barbecue seasoning packets mellow out the acidity of pickles, leaving a brown sugar and chipotle-kissed flavor that wasn’t my favorite, but would make sense at an actual barbecue. Chamoy, the salted pickled plum sauce commonly found at frutero carts, adds to the puckeriness of pickles and sharpens the whole thing. A dash of Tajín helps.
With these experiences and flavors, alongside heightened blood pressure from all the sodium I’ve consumed, I’ve learned not to judge people’s pickle preparations. Everyone likes things a bit differently—pickled carrots, pickled watermelon rinds, pickled pickles. Some may like their pickles with peanut butter. Others, a sugary sprinkling of Kool-Aid. There are pickle soups, pickle sandwiches, and pickle egg rolls out there. Whatever the case, we as hot girl pickle lovers are united in our appreciation for this spectacular preserved food and shall not pass judgment. It’s just not part of the dill.