Dirty Martini Cocktail Recipe

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Dirty Martini Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Dirty Martini is a classic cocktail that has its roots in the early 20th century. It is believed to have been first created in New York City, and its popularity quickly spread across the globe. The Dirty Martini is a favorite among those who enjoy a strong, savory cocktail with a hint of brine.

  • The name 'Dirty Martini' comes from the addition of olive brine, which gives the drink its signature murky appearance.
  • It is said to have been a favorite of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who enjoyed making and serving them to his guests at the White House.

How Dirty Martini Tastes?

The Dirty Martini has a bold, savory taste with a hint of saltiness from the olive brine. It is a strong, slightly bitter cocktail with a smooth finish.

Interesting facts about Dirty Martini

  • The Dirty Martini is often considered a variation of the classic Martini, which is made with gin or vodka and dry vermouth.
  • The addition of olive brine to the cocktail is said to have been inspired by the need to mask the taste of low-quality gin during Prohibition.
  • The Dirty Martini is typically garnished with olives, which can be stuffed with various ingredients such as blue cheese, garlic, or jalapeños.


  • Gin: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Dry vermouth: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Olive brine: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Green olives: 2-3

A few good options for Dirty Martini are:

  • Tanqueray Gin
  • Roku Japanese Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Gin is the soul of the martini. Its complex botanicals set the stage for this classic drink. The 2 oz measurement is perfect - too much, and you might as well be rubbing juniper berries in your eyes; too little, and your cocktail's just taking a light swim. If you ditch the gin, it's not a martini anymore; it's just briny water with a dash of sophistication.

Alex Green

Dry Vermouth

Dry vermouth plays the sidekick here, rounding out the gin's flavor without stealing the spotlight. At 0.5 oz, it's just enough to whisper 'vermouth' without screaming it. Skip it, and your martini is naked - and not in a good way. As an alternative, some might flirt with a blanc vermouth, which would sweeten the deal.

Mary Mitkina

Olive Brine

The olive brine turns this from a clean martini into a 'dirty' one. We're going for full on salty-dog vibes with that 1 oz - it gives the martini grit and character. Leaving out the brine is like missing the 'dirty' in 'Dirty Harry' - it simply won't pack the same punch.

Emma Rose

Green Olives

Green olives are the bedrock of garnishes here. They're like the bouncer of the drink, adding salty sophistication and ensuring everything else is in line. Two to three is the magic number, like the Three Musketeers of garnish - one for all and all for one good sip! Skipping them means missing the final touch, like a joke without a punchline.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Dirty Martini Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add gin, dry vermouth, and olive brine to the mixing glass.
  3. Stir the mixture for about 30 seconds, until well chilled.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled martini glass.
  5. Garnish with green olives on a cocktail pick.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality gin for a smoother taste.
  • Chill the martini glass before pouring the cocktail for a better experience.
  • Stir the cocktail for at least 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the drink.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese: A sharp cheddar or creamy blue cheese counterbalances the cocktail's saltiness.
  • Seafood: Oysters or chilled shrimp complement the briny notes of the Dirty Martini.
  • Charcuterie: Salty meats like prosciutto are a perfect match.
  • Nuts: Salted almonds or cashews can echo the cocktail's savory qualities.


  • Grilled Steak: The robust flavor of the steak goes well with the strong gin botanicals.
  • Chicken Piccata: The lemony sauce highlights the dry vermouth's crispness.


  • Dark Chocolate: A piece of dark chocolate can provide a sweet contrast to the Dirty Martini's savoriness.

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What you could change in Dirty Martini

  • You can substitute gin with vodka for a different flavor profile.
  • If you don't have olive brine, you can use pickle brine as a substitute.
  • Lemon twist can be used as a garnish instead of green olives.

Explore all drinks starting with D here

And of course - twists🍹

Dirty Martini with a Citrus Twist

  • Add a strip of lemon zest before stirring.

This twist adds a zesty freshness to the classic, making it perfect for those who enjoy a touch of citrus. Let the lemon’s oils dance with the gin's botanicals, and experience a martini that has one foot in the herb garden and the other on a sunny Amalfi coast.

Spicy Dirty Martini

  • Muddle a few slices of jalapeño in the mixing glass before adding the other ingredients.

For those who like it hot, this twist brings the heat. The jalapeño's fire plays off the gin's cool, creating a sultry balance. Remember to wash your hands after muddling, or your eyes might get a cocktail of their own!

Dirty Martini with Blue Cheese-Stuffed Olives

  • Use blue cheese-stuffed olives for garnish.

Creamy, salty, and utterly divine, the blue cheese elevates the olives to a gourmet status. It's like your martini just put on a velvet smoking jacket; pure sophistication. The umami from the cheese teams up with the gin in a flavorful duo that's hard to beat, especially for the cheese lover.

In case you forgot basics how to make Dirty Martini

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Dirty Martini

Why is it called a 'Dirty' Martini?

The term 'dirty' in the Dirty Martini refers to the addition of the olive brine to the drink, which gives it a murky, 'dirty' look.

Is Dirty Martini considered a cocktail for men or women?

Dirty Martini, like all cocktails, can be enjoyed by anyone irrespective of gender. It's all about personal preference!

What are the appropriate occasions to serve a Dirty Martini?

Dirty Martinis are perfect for cocktail parties, formal events, and even a quiet night in. They're often seen as a sophisticated choice. Make sure to check the drink preferences of your guests!

What is the right way to serve a dirty martini?

Dirty Martinis are typically served in chilled martini glasses, to ensure that they stay cold longer.

How does altering the ratio of ingredients affect the Dirty Martini?

Altering the ratio of ingredients in a Dirty Martini can significantly change its taste. More olive brine makes it saltier and murkier, more gin contributes to the strength of the alcohol kick, and more vermouth can add a touch of sweetness.

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