In the year 1901, bartender John O’Connor from New York created the dirty martini after he was inspired by the classic cocktail’s olive garnish. John muddled the olive into the martini and then added a splash of olive brine to the mix, making the first-ever dirty martini. The reason he named it the dirty martini is that it is much cloudier than the traditional martini, making it look “dirty.”
The original dirty martini was made with gin, vermouth, olives and a splash of olive brine. As time has passed, the dirty martini has become more popular. With increased popularity came the opportunity to recreate the salty cocktail. Different variations include a martini with bleu cheese stuffed olives, or, for a spicy version, you can use jalapeno stuffed olives. No matter how you like it, it is either gin or vodka-based.
If you do decide to recreate this cocktail at home, the pros suggest you add the olive brine before you shake it and not after it is poured in the glass. Preparing it this way will make sure you have the best-tasting martini each time. If you choose to add the brine afterward, the flavor can be inconsistent.
Some Additional Tips from the Bartenders Themselves
- Using gin instead of vodka. Vodka tends to have little to no flavor, so using gin will enhance the olive brine.
- Understand your preference when it comes to how dirty you like your martini. We suggest starting out slow and taste-testing with each added ounce.
- You may want to lose the vermouth. The added sourness from the vermouth can be a strange mix with olive brine.
- Splurge on the olives! Using gourmet, high-quality olives can set this cocktail apart from a plain old martini, and it may just become your new go-to cocktail. Also, don’t use olives that have been sitting in your refrigerator for longer than a week; you want to make sure the olives are fresh.
- The last secret to the dirty martini is…Shake! Shake! Shake! This will ensure your martini is extra cold–the colder it gets, the better!
Come have a drink with us!
Ready for that martini? Come dine with us! Call Grico’s at 570-654-9120 to make a reservation for dinner or come by and check out our 1930’s vintage bar. If you are looking for a more intimate setting, we offer our famous private booths suitable for two to four guests. We look forward to having you!