Blue Ribbon Pickling Liquor

From Deep South: New Southern Cooking, this family recipe from Mosheim, Tennessee, is so named because it is a first-rate pickling base.
December 12, 2016


Bring the water, distilled vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil in a large pot, being sure to whisk to dissolve the salt and sugar fully.

Put all the remaining ingredients in a large Tupperware box or other airtight container. Pour the boiling liquid over them and leave, uncovered, to cool.

About this recipe

"The South has a colorful history of recipe sharing and you’d be hard pressed to find a community that hasn’t put together a spiral-bound book showcasing its specialties. These are some of the best cookbooks the South has to offer for a glimpse into local eating habits.

The tradition of community is continued by professionals and home cooks alike as they meet in kitchens around the world, sharing both new techniques and Grandmother’s best. I met David Breeden while working at Per Se in 2006 and 2007. Originally from Tennessee, David is chef de cuisine at the French Laundry restaurant in Napa, California. This recipe belonged to his grandmother, Betty Joan Breeden, from Mosheim, Tennessee, and is so named because it is a first-rate pickling base." -- Brad McDonald, author of Deep South: New Southern Cooking

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  • 2 litres (2 quarts) water
  • 500ml (18 fl oz) distilled white vinegar
  • 115g (4oz) salt
  • 200g (7oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 20g (3/4 oz) celery hearts, sliced
  • 12g (1/2 oz) garlic, sliced
  • 25g (1oz) dill
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (red pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 star anise 6g (1 tsp) yellow mustard seeds
  • 6g (1 tsp) yellow mustard seeds
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