Dirty Martini

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Cocktail Type


Great for

After Work



Dirty Martini garnished with olives

A Dirty Martini is a must-have savoury trick to have up your hosting sleeve — simple, yet undeniably glamorous. This unique cocktail has a lovely saltiness that draws the flavours of vodka and dry vermouth into a fresh, firm focus. It’s a total classic and also easy to whip up, making it ideal for those occasions that call for something a little different.  

It is said that the Dirty Martini recipe had its origins in New York in 1901, when bartender John O’Connor decided to take the olive garnish of the Classic Martini one step further. At first, the olive was muddled into the drink, but these days we go a little further by adding a splash of olive brine or olive juice.  

How to make a Dirty Martini

Here’s our go-to recipe for a Dirty Martini that comes out perfectly every time.  



A nice cool glass sets the stage for your Dirty Martini to take the limelight


Keep your vermouth chilled and replace it at least once every three months


Bartenders believe it’s bad luck to garnish with even numbers of olives so use either 1 or 3



1 Person

60 Ml

2 Oz

2 Parts

15 Ml

0.5 Oz

0.5 Parts

15 Ml

0.5 Oz

0.5 Parts

olive brine or olive juice 
green olives to garnish 


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Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice


Strain into chilled coupe/cocktail glass


Garnish with three olives on a skewer

Secret tips to making the perfect Dirty Martini

Here are a few top tips to help you make the perfect Dirty Martini every time:  

Keep your olive jar in the fridge. Keeping your olives and olive brine in the fridge is the best way to make a good Dirty Martini. Some bartenders have been known to use warm brine from a garnish tray, but we would advise against that for sure. First of all, it’s not very sanitary, and secondly, the cooler ingredients make for a smoother drink. 

Stir rather than shake. Even though 007 was partial to a shaken martini, certain drinks of this kind work better when it is stirred. The Dirty Martini, for instance, works far better when stirred, since this is a gentler way to combine the olive brine with the rest of the cocktail ingredients.  

Olive brine or olive juice?

Ah, the age-old Dirty Martini debate: olive brine or olive juice? It all comes down to convenience. 

See, olive juice is something that comes straight from the fruit of the olive tree. This juice yields olive oil and other components that are used, among other things, to make the brine for cured olives. As such, bottled olive juice is definitely a purer product, but also a little harder to get hold of, and far less likely to be a pantry staple.  

Olive brine, on the other hand, is the liquid that comes in the jar of olives you buy at the shops. Since olives spend quite a while curing before it’s ready to use, this liquid is heavily infused with the flavour of its contents. This means you will still get that ‘olive-ey’ taste when you use the brine rather than the juice. It’s also a more affordable alternative to olive juice.  

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A London Dry gin is a great option for a Dirty Martini. This type of gin is infused with botanical flavour through re-distillation. It has a minimum strength of 37.5% alcohol, so a little goes a long way. If you are a vodka fan, you can absolutely pour a Dirty Martini with your favourite vodka. For a savoury spin, try using Skyy Blood Orange infused Vodka with a sprig of rosemary!

With so many types of martinis to choose from, and umpteen versions of Dirty Martinis, keeping up can be a challenge! Some prefer the 'spill' of olive brine or olive juice with vermouth, and some without. We prefer it with. You decide.