As anyone who’s been through a particularly bad winter storm could tell you, it’s not snow that’s the real danger, it’s ice. And what’s the best way to get rid of ice? Salts, or harsh chemicals, sure, but those can eat through metal, seep into the soil, and are generally a less-than-ideal solution. Especially, as it turns out, when there’s something less caustic and readily available at every deli in the country.
Reports National Geographic:
Some states, like New Jersey, are experimenting with pickle brine. Yes, pickle brine, which works like regular saltwater. Similar to traditional rock salt, brine can melt ice at temperatures as low as -6°F (-21°C). And it beats salt in another respect: Prewetting with this substance prevents snow and ice from bonding with pavement, making the ice easier to chip off and remove.
The use of brine also reduces the amount of chloride released into the environment by 14 to 29 percent.
In other words, pickle brine is less harsh than chemicals, more effective than salt, and (I’m assuming) easier to get in bulk, since it’s a natural byproduct of the already existing pickling industry. Here, though, is where I’m torn: Pickle brine may be better for the environment, and more effective in clearing away hazardous ice, but it’s also fucking delicious, and the thought of dumping gallons of it onto icy highways breaks my heart.
So, here’s what I propose. For every 9 parts pickle brine you use for de-icing purposes, you use 1 part pickle brine for something like this:
2 oz Pickle Juice
3 oz Vodka
Put ice in a martini shaker. Pour vodka and pickle juice into shaker; shake several times; pour into martini glass. Garnish with pickle and serve.