Best Dirty Martini

Best Dirty Martini

It’s time for a little class. Please, let’s have a cocktail.

Martini? Yes, I believe that will suffice.

Dirty Martini with shaker and Vermouth

I have preferences about martinis. They are made with gin. Not vodka. They are not dry. And they often include olive brine. Depending on gin. Some gins want lemon and cucumbers–Hendrick’s, for instance. But it’s winter now, and cucumbers must make a long journey from Mexico. I’ll spare them the trek and stick with preserved olives for now. For this recipe I use Broker’s gin, which is a well-rounded, lightly sweet gin and not terribly juniper-y liquor that combines readily with brine. We’re in the clear here.

Martini and friends

I do want to know, however, what the opposite of a dry martini is called, properly. I assumed it was analogous to cappuccinos, and would be wet vs. dry. But somehow I didn’t think titling this post “Dirty Wet Martinis” would be the best choice. The alternative option “sweet” (vs. dry, as with wine) was proposed by my cocktail co-conspirator, but there is not an abundantly sweet sensation to this recipe, so I reject the title.

However you so choose to call it, please give it a try–I think the character of the Vermouth amplifies the syrupy quality of the gin and promotes a lovely mouthfeel.

I should also note that this makes a large portion. It’s a cocktail that requires a bit of commitment, or at the very least a stomach which is not empty. Please be sure to stir, not shake (as much fun as it is to say “Shaken. Not stirred”, it really is not the preferred way to blend gin, which has a large amount of volatile spice and herb oils and compounds suspended within. Shaking will “bruise” or rearrange the composition of the liquor, and you wouldn’t want that!)

Cheers to you, classy people.
CPK best dirty martini


Dirty Martini

A slightly sweet, slightly salty, rich-flavored proper Gin Martini…because you’re classy.


  • 2 1/2 oz. (shots) nice quality chilled gin
  • 1/2 oz. dry Vermouth
  • 1 1/2 t. olive brine
  • 1-4 olives
  • ice
  • chilled martini glass


  1. Place several ice cubes in a separate glass or cocktail shaker and pour chilled gin, vermouth, and olive brine over.
  2. Stir gently but thoroughly and strain into a chilled martini glass.
  3. Garnish with several olives in glass or on a toothpick.

Serves 1. Or 2, if you prefer.