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Dirty Martinis

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  • robeen Nov 25, 2004 12:02 PM
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My new favorite drink is a "dirty martini" but I haven't been able to make them quite as good as I have had in some bars/restaurants. I use the olive juice from the jar of olives. Does anyone know if I can buy just a jar of olive juice? I would appreciate any suggestions for putting together a good "dirty martini". Thank you.

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  1. I suggest you make it 'in and out': Fill the glass (shaker) with ice. Add a splash olive juice, cover the top with your hand our shaker/strainer. Pour out all that will do so, fill glass (shaker) with Gin (Vodka?) and pour.

    For a 'San Fransisco' or 'Smokey': Same as above but substitute Scotch for the olive juice.

    1. Are you using dry vermouth as well? I like to make mine with gin, dry vermouth and olive juice. You kind of have to experiment with the olive juice portion - i prefer mine salty so i put in a generous splash. You can buy just olive juice - Lehman Farms makes bottles of 'Dirty Martini Olive Juice'. I've had a bottle lying around, half-used for years..i think I got it at some gourmet store in Atlanta once. You can try online. I always have olives in the house and just tip in from the jar into my drink.

      -T

      5 Replies
      1. re: TanQ10

        Thank you for your input. I also prefer my dirty martinis on the salty side. I do use Vodka, vermouth and olive juice and it tastes just fine as long as I add enough olive juice. I will look for olive juice on line as you suggested.

        1. re: robeen

          Out of curiosity, I thought i'd look for it online too and found the Lehmans product on Amazon! Just type in 'olive juice' in Amazon's serach box. I'm off for my Friday Barbarini (vodka, dry vermouth, two, huge, gorgonzola-filled olives).

          Skol!
          -T

          1. re: TanQ10

            Thanks for looking for the olive juice. I also found it. Your martini with gorgonzola olives sounds yummy. I will definitely have to try it.

            1. re: robeen

              And I enjoy getting the good olives stuffed with garlic or jalapenos. A nice extra treat, and the olive juice I believe carries some of the extra flavor.

              Make sure you get everything super chill before really mixing it!

              1. re: robeen

                FYI..The Olive Pit makes the best "smoked olives". So, so good in martini recipes! I am sure they have a website.

        2. The key is making the Martini extra cold. Make sure your glass is chilled. If you use a quality vodka or gin, don't use vermouth. Vermouth was more commonly used years ago when the vodkas were not as pure. It helped cover up the not so great taste of the vodka. Now, they are so pure that they only have a little taste and are easier to drink. Shake your martini with olive juice very hard. Not the traditional way to serve, but people love when you shake it very hard and have little ice shavings on the top. I call it ice skating! Drink heavily and enjoy.

          2 Replies
          1. re: thaifoodie

            Please DO use vermouth -- otherwise it is not a martini. A martini is a beautiful mixture of vermouth and gin (vodka if you must) that creates an entirely new substance.

            If you do not use vermouth, please do the world a favor and call it a Dirty Gin (or vodka).

            1. re: thaifoodie

              I have to side with those who assert quite rightly that a martini is made with gin and vermouth and that a glass of vodka is not a vodka martini.

              Certainly since martinis were originally made with gin and Martini and Rossi vermouth, the quality of vodka at that time had nothing to do with the inclusion of vermouth. In fact at that time one could drink chilled gin - that didn't make it a martini.

              It is like asking "How do you make a whiskey sour?" Pour whiskey into a glass.

              But what about the sour, you ask. But what about the Martini and Rossi (IOW, vermouth), I ask right back.

            2. I too love the dirty martini. I buy the inexpensive pimento stuffed ones, and just use them for the juice. And then I use olives off the "olive bar" -- garlic infused, almond stuffed, oil cured, et. al. I agree that vermouth is no longer needed. Good alcohol, Ketel One is my current favorite, makes all the difference. Go Polish, Go Russian, Go Dutch -- just pick the good stuff.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bliebman2

                There are many who contend that a Martini is always made with gin and vermouth. How much vermouth is per each person's taste, but the ice should at least be rinsed with some vermouth. A Vodka Martini must be specified as such. A non-vermouth Vodka Martini with olive juice is cold vodka with olive juice. I would never drink that but I am happy for you if you like it. I think it should acquire its own name.

              2. I vote Kettle 1 as my favorite vodka and Millers as my favorite Gin.

                1. I'll actually answer the question... YES! Dirty sue...

                  http://www.dirtysue.com/store.html

                  1. If you enjoy dirty martinis, I strongly recommend enjoying them only in the comfort of your own home. Not so much because it's something that is socially taboo, but because you don't want to know how many fingers are in and out of the olive container all day.

                    1. Use Ketel One or Grey Goose. Don't overdo the olive juice. And make sure there's plenty of ice to thaw into water and dilute the martini by the time you pour it into a glass. Good stuff.

                      1. I absolutely LOVE Vodka Dirty Martinis (yes, I know it's not technically a martini, but let's just call it that for the moment). Stirrings has bottled olive juice, and it's readily available in the liquor stores around here. It was quicker and cheaper to get than the mail order stuff like Dirty Sue (I guess I was really in a rush for a drink!).

                        Back to my point: I don't know if it's all in my head or what, but I like the way the drinks come out better when I use olive juice from an actual jar of olives than from the Stirrings stuff. Even just regular cheap pimento-stuffed olives. I'll often use the juice from those, and then throw in a fancier olive.

                        1. By the way there is a gin called Dirty Olive Gin, and also a Dirty Olive Vodka. They are supposed to be "super-premiums". They have olive/brine as part of the botanicals/flavors. I haven't tried it or seen the gin in person. If I ever add it to my collection I will post about it.

                          1. As long as we're not talking about Green Apple Martini's I'm cool. I guess it's not the drink, Green Apple Martini, that bothers me so much as it's association, by name, with the glorious (and utterly unrelated) drink. I have almost equal distain for Vodkatini's (but at least they're dry like an true Martini).

                            1. Make sure you shake up the martini with ice for long enough to actually dilute the martini with ice-water. I really believe that makes it taste significantly smoother (and use excellent quality vodka, of course).

                              1. "There are many who contend that a Martini is always made with gin and vermouth. How much vermouth is per each person's taste, but the ice should at least be rinsed with some vermouth. A Vodka Martini must be specified as such. A non-vermouth Vodka Martini with olive juice is cold vodka with olive juice. I would never drink that but I am happy for you if you like it. I think it should acquire its own name."

                                AMEN!!!

                                anyways, have you tried adding bitters? it makes a great contribution to a martini. If you have a good bartender, that's probably why they're not coming out the same. also, yes, make sure you stir enough to get it very cold, or, if you prefer your drink to look like a foamy mess, shake it. For gins, i recomend tanquaray or saphire. mmmm... think i might have one.......