Drinks with Brine

If you’re like me, you want to get every last drop of probiotic goodness out of your fermented foods. I usually have lots of brine (the liquid in which veggies ferment) leftover, especially when making garlic dill cukes or dilly beans. So, partly out of boredom, partly from thirst, I decided to experiment with brine as a cocktail mixer. I was pleasantly surprised with the results!

A chelada (shown above, also known as a michelada) is a refreshing Mexican drink, typically made with a lighter style beer such as a lager, and some kind of salty/spicy mixer. Depending on the region in Mexico, it could be made with simply lime juice and salt, clamato juice, or tomato juice with spicy pepper, like a Bloody Mary mix (known as sangrita). So this is a probiotic spin which has the same thirst-quenching effect!

Chelada Fermentada

A probiotic spin on a classic Mexican drink, which has the same thirst-quenching effect!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Course Drink
Cuisine Mexican
Makes 1 cocktail


  • 1 12 oz. beer, lager or pilsner
  • 6 oz. pickle brine
  • 1 cucumber slice optional garnish
  • coarse sea salt
  • lime wedge
  • ice cubes


  • Add ice cubes and brine to high-ball or pint glass.
  • Squeeze lime around rim of glass. Coat rim with coarse sea salt.
  • Top off glass with beer (there may be some left over). Top off as you drink it.
  • Add cucumber garnish.
  • Enjoy!


For a non-alcoholic brine-based drink, try this:

Mint cucumber cooler
Mint cucumber cooler

Cukie Cooler

Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Drink (non-alcoholic)


  • 8 oz. sparkling water
  • 4 oz. pickle brine
  • 3 cucumber slices
  • lime wedge
  • 1/2 tsp. raw sugar or other liquid sweetener to taste


  • Add mint leaves to bottom of glass and muddle. Or, bruise & tear leaves with your hands and add to glass.
  • Add other ingredients and squeeze lime juice. Stir together to dissolve the sugar.
  • Top with ice. Enjoy!

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