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Bourbon and okra might not seem like a natural combination, but once you’ve tried one of these pickled okra pods, we guarantee that you’ll change your mind. These crunchy refrigerator pickles, made by recipe developer Ann Taylor-Pittman, preserve the fresh, asparagus-like flavor of okra and enhance it with a definitive hit of bourbon and a little bit of chile heat. The bourbon flavor is wonderfully present—especially since you don’t cook it off at all. The brine, which is flavored with Fresno chiles, bay leaves, mustard and coriander seeds, peppercorns, packs a powerful and fragrant punch as well. Other than eating them straight out of the jar (which you will want to do), these pickles are wonderful served on a charcuterie or cheese board, as a garnish for a bloody Mary or deviled eggs, or served in your favorite burger. Look for small fresh okra pods that are bright green in color—larger pods will be too tough. Be sure to make a batch of Bourbon-Brined Pickled Peppered Okra (say that three times fast) when fresh okra is in season—it will become your new summertime ritual.


Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary

15 mins
24 hrs
24 hrs 45 mins
3 pints


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Pack okra evenly into 3 (1-pint) jars, alternating tips and stem ends to get more in each jar. Stuff 4 chile quarters and 1 bay leaf in each jar. Pour 2 tablespoons bourbon into each jar.

  • Cook mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a small saucepan over medium until toasted, lightly browned, and very fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add vinegar, 1 cup water, sugar, and salt to saucepan. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Boil until sugar and salt completely dissolve, about 3 minutes. Pour mixture evenly into jars. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Cover with lids; chill 24 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.