Cleveland Whiskey Curtido

Cleveland Whiskey Curtido

With warmer days coming, we love pickled veggies… and brine. It’s so refreshing.  

Curtido is a simple Salvadoran pickled slaw that’s the perfect complement for spicy foods or heavy dishes (like, of all things, beef stroganoff). While this isn’t the traditional curtido recipe, Cleveland Whiskey isn’t the traditional bourbon, either. 

Serve this at your next BBQ along with pulled pork, on top of Bourbon Chicken Street Tacos, or throw some crispy bacon strips and avocado slices on top and smash it as a light lunch. 


Makes giant bowl. Feel free to cut it in half… or double it.

Prep Time: 15-20min depending on your knife skills.
Cook Time: Not much.
Waiting Time: About an hour. 


  • Knife
  • Stockpot 
  • Big bowl 


  • 2 cups of water 
  • 1 cup cider vinegar 
  • ½ cup Cleveland Whiskey Black Reserve Bourbon 
  • ½ tablespoon honey 
  • 1-2 jalapeños, scraped of seeds and diced 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and finely chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons of coarse salt (depending on your palate) 
  • 2 tsp dried oregano (Mexican oregano is the go-to, but can be hard to find) 
  • 1 tsp dried thyme 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon 
  • 1 head of cabbage, shredded and rinsed 
  • 1 small red onion, julienned 
  • 1 small white onion, julienned 
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips 
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice 
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste 
  • OPTIONAL: Crumbled bacon, cilantro, and sliced cherry tomatoes for garnish. 


  • Add the water, vinegar, Cleveland Whiskey Black Reserve Bourbon, honey, jalapeño(s), garlic, salt, oregano, thyme, bay leaf, and cinnamon to the stockpot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 
  • While waiting for the dressing to cook (and the ethanol to cook out of it), prepare the cabbage, onions, and carrots. 
  • Let the dressing boil for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally with your exhaust fan on high. Ethanol is flammable, so be careful and have fire suppression available if necessary. 
  • Remove the dressing from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. 
  • While waiting, assemble your shredded, julienned, and stripped veggies as follows: 
  • Cabbage on the bottom 
  • Carrots in the middle 
  • Onions on top 
  • Pour your hot dressing over the top, slowly and evenly. You’re blanching (and pickling) the veggies, taking the sting out of the onions, softening the carrots, and pulling natural sweetness out of the veggies while leaving the crunch and texture intact. It can’t be boiling or cool enough to put your hand in comfortably. It’s got to be hot. 
  • Immediately get to work tossing your salad. The veggies will have sucked enough thermal energy out of the dressing to make it safe to handle. 
  • While tossing, give it a squeeze to bruise the cabbage for an easy crunch. 
  • Add the lime juice and black pepper over the top and toss some more, no squeezing.  

OPTIONAL GARNISHES: You can toss the bacon, cilantro, and tomato slices into the slaw right now or add them over the top after it cools. You can also set them aside in bowls so your guests can finish their curtido their way. 

  • Let cool in the fridge for about half an hour to marry all the flavors together.