Like most martini recipes, the origin of the Dirty Martini are unclear. Allegedly, the favoured drink of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it gets its name from the addition of olive brine to a dry martini.
Most recipes call for a single teaspoon of olive brine, but you can go as dirty as you like. For the ultimate in dirty martinis, head to Duck and Waffle London for their FILTY martini.
If you prefer dirty to filthy, stick with the olives, remembering to use good quality olives in brine and not olive oil. A very good friend of mine had the unpleasant experience of being served a dirty martini with a slick of oil floating on top. Bleurgh.
I sometimes freeze olives for my martinis so that they keep the drink super-chilled. Blue cheese stuffed olives are divine and can be frozen), but generally I go for slightly more expensive olives with the stone intact. Just warn your guests when serving!
Ingredients for a Dirty Martini
45ml Dry Gin
15ml Dry vermouth
1tsp of excellent quality olive brine.
Stir all ingredients over ice for 45 seconds until chilled. Double strain into a cold cocktail glass and garnish with an olive or three.
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