I think you're on to something Cruz -- For me, it's the pickle in the recipe that should be spiced up, not the batter! Once you've got good flavor in the pickle, the batter can be toned down a lot, and let the zippy flavor of the pickle come forward. I would quarter the pickles into spears instead of slicing them-- more like when you fry up zucchini sticks. Easy to eat that way.
Here's a way to spice up dill pickles that works well:
1-22 oz. jar regular whole dill pickles
1 medium red onion, sliced into rings
2-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
6 whole serrano chilis (red and/or green), slit open a bit
4 cloves garlic, peeled
Drain liquid from pickle jar and discard. Quarter each whole pickle into spears. Place pickles back into jars (will take about 2 pint jars). Stuff in the onions, chilis, and garlic cloves. Dissolve sugar in cider vinegar over low heat. Cool and pour over pickles and spices in jars. Cap tightly and refrigerate 5-6 days. These taste good all by themselves!
I think these pickles would be great fried in a light batter without a lot of spices. Sprinkling a little Essence over all while hot just before serving may be ok, though!
On Deck: Bung Ho! Pale Ale; Blackberry Saison; Summer Amber Ale
In primary: Rubicon Bay Pale Ale
Conditioning: Dortmunder; Vienna Lager
Ready to drink: Three Wise Men; Old Whezzifig; Wicche's Wode; Hardly Cider
Cellared: Pere Noel