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The Dirty Martini

dirty martini cocktail with bottles of ingredients in the background

Hey there! Let me introduce you to one of the coolest drinks on our menu: the Dirty Martini.  This cocktail is a perfect fusion of elegance and intense flavors that can transform an average night into an exceptional one. Throughout my experience behind the bar, I have crafted numerous beverages, but the Dirty Martini holds a special significance. Its distinct flavor effortlessly blends saltiness, savoriness, and smoothness into a single sip. Believe me, this drink demands attention and will leave you craving for another round.

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Tasting Notes

The Dirty Martini has a bold, savory flavor that comes from the olive brine mixed with the smoothness of gin or vodka. It’s a balance of salty and herbal notes, with a slight hint of bitterness. The olives add a touch of richness, making each sip complex and intriguing. It’s a cocktail that leaves a lasting impression, perfect for savoring slowly.

Equipment and Glassware

To make a Dirty Martini, you’ll need a few basic tools: a shaker or mixing glass, a strainer, and a measuring jigger. The classic glassware for serving is a martini glass, which has a long stem and a wide-brimmed, cone-shaped bowl. This design allows the drink to stay cold while highlighting its elegant appearance.


  • 2 1/2 oz gin or vodka
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz olive juice
  • Olives for garnish


  1. Combine gin or vodka, dry vermouth, and olive juice in an ice-filled mixing glass.
  2. Stir continuously until chilled. Strain into a cold cocktail glass.
  3. Skewer the olives and add to the drink.
See also  Rivi Citrus and Rosemary

Pro Tips

  • For a clearer drink, stir instead of shaking. Shaking can make the cocktail a bit cloudy.
  • Adjust the amount of olive brine to suit your taste. More brine makes it “dirtier”.
  • Chill the martini glass beforehand to keep your drink colder for longer.

When to Serve

The Dirty Martini is versatile, making it perfect for many occasions. It’s a great choice for a sophisticated evening gathering, a relaxed happy hour, or a special dinner. It pairs well with appetizers and can be a classy start to a memorable night.

Which Liquor Brands to Choose

For gin, brands like Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, or Hendrick’s offer the quality that complements the martini’s profile. If you prefer vodka, Grey Goose, Belvedere, or Tito’s are excellent choices. The key is using a liquor that you enjoy on its own, as its flavor will be prominent.

Similar Cocktails

  • Gibson: Similar to a martini but garnished with a cocktail onion instead of an olive.
  • Vesper: Made famous by James Bond, it combines gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc.
  • Manhattan: A whiskey-based cocktail with sweet vermouth and bitters.
  • Negroni: Gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, offering a balance of sweet and bitter.
  • French Martini: Vodka, pineapple juice, and Chambord, for a fruity twist.


The Martini has evolved over time, but the Dirty Martini variant gained popularity in the early 20th century. It’s said to have originated from the simple addition of olive brine to the classic martini, giving it a unique twist. This modification catered to those looking for a cocktail with a bit more depth and character.

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dirty martini cocktail with bottles of ingredients in the background

Dirty Martini

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
5 from 5 votes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dirty martini, Gin, olive juice, vermouth, Vodka
Servings: 1
Author: Paul Kushner
Discover the classic Dirty Martini: a bold blend of gin or vodka, dry vermouth, and savory olive brine for a perfectly balanced, sophisticated sip.


  • Combine gin or vodka, dry vermouth, and olive juice in an ice-filled mixing glass.
  • Stir continuously until chilled. Strain into a cold cocktail glass.
  • Skewer the olives and add to the drink.
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let us know how it was!
The Dirty Martini
Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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Paul Kushner

Written by Paul Kushner

Founder and CEO of MyBartender. Graduated from Penn State University. He always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. His restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time he turned 17 he was serving tables, and by 19 he was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, Paul opened his first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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