Dirty Martini

Difford's Guide
Discerning Drinkers (44 ratings)

Serve in a

Martini glass

Garnish:

Olive on stick

How to make:

STIR all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled glass.

2 1/12 fl oz Hayman's London Dry Gin
1/2 fl oz Strucchi Dry Vermouth (chilled)
1/3 fl oz Olive brine (from jarred olive) (chilled)
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AKA:

F.D.R. Martini after the American president Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Review:

As with all Martinis, striking a perfect level of dilution and achieving an ice-cold serving temperature (helped by chilling/freezing all ingredients, the glass and garnish) is key. However, a Dirty Martini introduces another element, olive brine, and your choice of olives and accompanying brine will make or break this cocktail. (Beware, olives packed in oil produce a revolting emulsion.) Then there's the question of how much olive brine to use, and personal tastes see this vary from 5ml to 15ml. I've found that my taste is middle of the road at 10ml (⅓oz).
(In place of olive brine, five dashes of The Bitter Truth's Olive Bitters work well.)

Variant:

Substitute vodka for gin.
Filthy Dirty Martini

History:

Cocktail historian David Wondrich has traced the origins of the Dirty Martini back to 1901 and a bartender called John E. O'Connor, who served a Dry Martini with muddled olives at New York's Waldorf Astoria.

The first written reference to brine being added to a Martini-style cocktail appears in G.H. Steele's 1930 My New Cocktail Book.

Good story: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President, a keen home bartender, is often connected to this cocktail. However, besides a story that Joseph Stalin recommended he sip pickle juice and vodka as a cure for a hangover at the Yalta Conference in 1945, there is no evidence that he used olive brine in his Martinis. Besides, his cocktails were reportedly "horrendous".

PERFECT (a la Hyland)
50% Plymouth Gin
50% French Vermouth
Angostura bitters
Orange bitters
Peychaud bitters
Olive brine (1 teaspoon)

G. F. Steele, 1930

Also see: The Martini and its evolution

Nutrition:

One serving of Dirty Martini contains 165 calories.

Alcohol content:

  • 1.7 standard drinks
  • 27.55% alc./vol. (55.1° proof)
  • 24.1 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Buy direct from
the_whisky_exchange store logo
£ -.--

Makes a minimum of ... cocktails
Just £ -.-- per cocktail*

* This list may not include all required ingredients.
Price per cocktail is an estimate based on the cost of making one cocktail with the available ingredients shown above and does not include any postage charges.
Buy direct from Difford’s Guide
Difford's Easy Jigger
£8.72 £8.72 exc VAT
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