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How to Make the Dirty Martini

Among the many cocktails, the Dirty Martini is a divisive one. It has its lovers and haters. Some think that a splash of olive brine has no place in the classic Martini. I beg to differ and hope to prove the haters wrong.

Dirty Martini 1

Dirty Vodka Martinis served in a chilled martini glass have always been a favorite of mine. During lockdown, I made it a ritual to have one every Friday night and I truly believe I have found the perfect Dirty Martini recipe, at least for me! I prefer it with vodka but you can make it with gin!

The story goes that John O’Connor, a New York bartender, got creative with his olive garnish. He would first muddle the olives and then threw them with gin and vermouth. The crucial step he made was the addition of olive juice to his invention. It became so popular that it is rumored to have been President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s cocktail of choice in the White House. It has grown and grown in popularity and now is made with either gin or vodka.

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What goes into a Dirty Martini

A Dirty Martini recipe has only four ingredients. These are:

  • Vodka: The smoother the better which means using the best vodkas on the market. I love Grey Goose Vodka, Altamura Vodka or Black Cow! A good vodka makes all the difference. If you are using gin, then go for a London Dry Gin and only use the best gin you can find.
  • Dry vermouth: You can play around with vermouth or fortified wine. I use Dolin in my recipe, but there are some great ones. Belsazar and Martini are great ones as well. No sweet vermouth here, that’s for the Sweet Martini recipe! 😉
  • Olive brine: Now, the hero ingredient for this martini recipe is the olive brine. You can get it straight from your jar of green olives. It adds that rich, deep and slightly salty flavor that makes it so good.
  • Olives: What kind of olives should I use? You must be asking yourself. My preferred olive is one stuffed with blue cheese. These add a whole other dimension to it, but any green olive or standand pimento filled olives will do. Other types of olives you can use are Nocerella or Castelvetrano olives! I do not use a lemon twist or cocktail onions as they have no place in this cocktail recipe, but hey do what you like!

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Where to find ingredients for Dirty Martini cocktails

You can find all the ingredients at Spirits Kiosk (10% off the entire site by quoting this code: ALushLife10SK.) in the UK; or in the USA!

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What tools you need to make Dirty Martini

You won’t be needing a cocktail shaker for this one! Grab a jigger, a barspoon, mixing glass, strainer, and Martini glasses for the best Dirty Martini.

  • Step 1: Grab your mixing glass
  • Step 2: Add the vodka, vermouth and olive juice
  • Step 3: Add ice cubes
  • Step 4: Now strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.
  • Step 5: Garnish with green olives! Bottom’s up!
  • 🍸Top Tip(le): It’s best if you put the vodka in the freezer to get it really cold beforehand.

Where to find more Martini recipes

Here are a few of my favorites:

 Plus more even more Martini recipes here

Here is the recipe!

Dirty Martini

Dirty Martini

The Dirty Martini is a divisive one. It has its lovers and haters. Hopefully, this Dirty Martini recipe will make you a lover!
No ratings yet
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Course Cocktails
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 314 kcal


  • 60 ml or 2 1/2 ounces Vodka or Gin
  • 20 ml or 1/2 ounce Dry vermouth
  • 20 ml or 1/2 ounce Olive brine
  • Olives


  • Add gin or vodka, vermouth and olive brine to a mixing glass
  • Add ice
  • Stir, stir, stir
  • Strain into a chilled glass
  • Garnish with lots of olives


Serving: 1gCalories: 314kcalCarbohydrates: 4gFat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 218mgFiber: 1g
Keyword dirty martini, martini
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