Kool Aid Pickles

Describe 'Kool Aid Pickles' here

To help me get over my craving for junk (and meat), I've been indulging in one of my favorite childhood snacks - Kool-Aid pickles.

The inventor of Kool-Aid pickles remains unknown, but the sweet-and-sour treats began as a

phenomenon in the Delta region of northwestern Mississippi. Young children would buy the pickles

from neighbors who sold homemade versions from their kitchens for between fifty cents and a dollar

per pickle. (If anyone can start an unlikely trend like this, it’s a young kid.) Eventually, a few local grocery

stores caught on and began selling their own homemade Kool-Aid pickles—and lately the bright green

and red pickles have been showing up at state and county fairs in multiple regions. The New York Times

featured an article on the tangy treat in 2007, and even celebrity chef Alton Brown has created his own

recipe for Koolickles.

Why the fuss? Kool-Aid pickles deliver a bold mix of sweet and sour, and they’re colorful and fairly easy

to make. So easy, in fact, that you can make them in your own kitchen with three ingredients and ten

minutes. Although concocting the perfect Koolickle is an art, it’s not difficult to make a basic version.

Start with this easy recipe, and then try making your own flavor blends.


1 gallon jar whole pickles

1 pound sugar (about 2-1/3 cups) per 1 gallon jar

2 packets unsweetened cherry Kool-Aid (or whichever flavor you prefer—tropical fruit punch, cherry,

and strawberry are all safe bets)


Pot, large enough to hold the pickle juice from the jar

(I prefer to use double-boilers for just about everything)

Wooden spoon


Cutting board

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 1 week

1. Pour the pickle juice into the large pot, making sure the pickles remain in their jar. Make sure

the pot you’re using is large enough to hold all of the juice without spilling.

2. Pour the sugar and Kool-Aid into the pickle juice; stir until they dissolve.

3. Cut all of the pickles in half (lengthwise) and return them to the jar.

4. Pour the Kool-Aid mixture into the jar carefully—this stuff stains! A new jar of pickles will

provide more than enough juice to cover the pickles, but as long as all the pickles are mostly

submerged in the juice they’ll be fine.

5. Tightly secure the lid on the jar.

6. Store the jar in your refrigerator. The pickles will need to soak for one week.

7. Stir once a day for even color.

8. After those seven days are up, enjoy your Kool-Aid pickles for a cool summer treat.

The taste will be predominantly Kool-Aid with a hint of pickle juice, so expect sweetness tempered

with a sour punch. Kool-Aid pickles are a great snack for early summer tailgates, kids’ parties, and even

dinner parties for more adventurous folks. If you want to activate even more taste buds, serve with

something spicy and a cold beer.