Popular in small, predominantly African-American Mississippi Delta towns, Koolickes are simply dill pickles that have been allowed to soak in a strong mix of Kool-Aid and brine. Koolickles combine two flavors well; sour and sweet. Their popularity is soaring; the New York Times wrote a great article about these pickles, and they even received a nod from Alton Brown on his show, "Feasting on Asphalt".
Not willing to drive over to Mississippi for a 50-cent pickle, I decided to try my hand at making Koolickles at home. Almost every recipe that I found called for "red" Kool-Aid; not being sure which flavor "red" represents, I went for a combination of cherry and tropical punch.
If curiosity gets the better of you and you'd like to make your own Koolickles, the process is really simple. Honestly, the hardest part is making room in the refrigerator for the pickle jar!
1 gallon jar dill pickles
1 lb granulated sugar
2 pkgs unsweetened Kool-Aid
Place a colander over a large bowl and drain all of the pickle brine. Do not discard the brine.
NOTE: I could NOT get the jar open, no matter how many times I tried. Finally I placed a plain rubber band around the lid, which added extra grip, and the jar opened easily.
This is actually arubber band that was holding collard green bunches together.
I love that Mt Olive's address is "Corner of Cucumber & Vine".
Mix the sugar and Kool-Aid into the reserved brine and stir well until completely dissolved.
Kool-Aid can ONLY be stirred with a wooden spoon!
Slice the pickles in half lengthwise.
Return the pickle halves to the original jar. Add the Kool-Aid/brine mixture to cover the pickles; you WILL have leftover brine. Resist the urge to drink it.
At this stage you may be questioning just what in the world you are doing.
Seal the jar and place the pickles in the refrigerator for one week. The pickles will absorb the Kool-Aid brine and take on their new color and flavor. Don't be alarmed if the pickles shrink slightly -this is completely normal.
After one week, the koolickles should be ready. Enjoy!