How to make a dirty martini


Dirty Martinis are a sophisticated take on the classic martini. Mixologist Allen Katz shares his recipe for making the perfect dirty martini.

How to make a dirty martini

You can make a dirty martini with either gin or vodka, dry vermouth, and a little bit of olive brine. The key is to hold back on the olive brine, because too much is disgusting.

Step 1. In a tall mixing glass, add 2-1/2 parts of gin or vodka to half a part of dry vermouth. The fruitiness of the vermouth adds a sweet aroma.

Step 2. Once they’re combined, take a bar spoon and add a bit of salty olive brine to the glass, just enough to give it a nice coloration.

Step 3. In a second mixing glass, add some ice. Stir the gin or vodka, vermouth and olive brine for about 20 seconds or more, then let it rest so that the flavors are mixed and it’s diluted enough.

Step 4. Chill a martini glass with ice and a splash of water. When it’s good and cold, get rid of the ice and strain the cocktail into the glass. Then add garnish, which for a dirty martini is a well-brined olive. Or two.

Voila, the perfect dirty martini.


I'm Allen Katz for and today I'm going to teach you how to make a dirty martini: a wonderfully simple variation on the classic martini.

This can be made with either gin or vodka. Today I'm going to make it with gin, and of course the other ingredients are dry vermouth and a little bit of olive brine. That's really the key to a great dirty martini, to hold back on the olive brine. You can always add a little bit more, but too much, frankly, is disgusting. I'm going to use about two and half parts of gin to half a part of dry vermouth. The fruitiness of the vermouth is really going to add a lovely character, not only in flavor, but a little bit of that sweet aroma as well.

Once we have those ingredients combined, we're just going to take a bar spoon and slowly add a little bit of that olive brine. Again, you can always add more, but my feeling on the dirty martini, is you just want to take a little bit of that saltiness, that wonderful flavor, because we like things that are sweet and savory, and just give it a nice coloration.

Now, in our second mixing glass. I'm just going to combine a little bit of ice, and this cocktail can be shaken or stirred, but again the idea of commingling these flavors, it's much simpler just to stir them together. You can already get the perfume of these ingredients, the gin, the dry vermouth, and the olive brine.

Now we'll take that residual ice, and just chill down our martini glass. What you want to do is just stir this cocktail for about 25 to 30 seconds. When you think you've stirred it enough, stir it a little bit more, and then let it rest. The flavors will just continue to come together. Also the drink will be diluted enough, it will be a very palatable cocktail.

Once your martini glass is well-chilled, and your cocktail is prepared, you simply want to strain it right into a well-chilled cocktail glass. And of course the classic garnish for a dirty martini is a well-brined olive. If you prefer a blue cheese stuffed olive or an anchovies stuff olive, by all means do so. For me personally I love two olives in my dirty martini. Enjoy. I'm Allen Katz for

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  • Allen Katz

    Allen Katz Cocktail Expert Allen Katz is the Director of Mixology & Spirits Education for Southern Wine & Sprits of New York and the President of the New York chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild. He is Co-Founder and Vice-President of New York Distilling Company. more about this expert »

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