Martinis with olives are considered a deadly combination, but the secret behind a perfect Martini olive lies in selecting the most appropriate olives for the recipe in question. The acidity that comes from “olives in brine” adds a little flavor pop to the gin or vodka, just similar to adding a little sea salt for complementing a dish.
The martini is said to be invented in the historic California town-ship settled by Martinez in the era of Gold Rush. Olives form an integral part of the nineteenth century Mexican-American cuisine and were frequently found their place in beverages too. Some Californian saloons still serve draught beers layered with stuffed, bottle green olives.
Attributes of an ideal martini olive
• Stuffed or pitted: Self-explanatory.
• Recently preserved or fresh: Olives used from a considerably old jar might be softened by the brine and become pickled or too salty.
• Preserved in a jar of brine: Olives should never be kept in oil, which leaves a thick layer and alters the original flavor and taste.
• Firm (though not very crunchy): Sevillano and Kamalata olives could prove to be pretty soft.
• Green (usually): Though green olives are used traditionally; some people like the smoky, sweet flavor of the black olives. They happen to be softer, and hence, the host should select recently preserved or fresh olives with care.
• Small is beautiful: Though some people prefer large olives, smaller ones are usually firmer as well as riper, and tend to be more aesthetically pleasing in the typical cocktail stem, fit comfortably in a set of three on a standard toothpick, and are easier to consume while engaging in a conversation.
Olives stuffed with blue cheese or goat cheese is something worth experimenting. One should make sure to use firm cheese to eliminate the probabilities of milky sediments or gummy bits in the cocktail. It is an essential thumb rule to always chill the cheese-stuffed olives before serving.
One may also choose to pair vodka and gin martinis with olives stuffed with garlic, anchovies, onion, almonds, different kinds of hot and sweet peppers, or even with the rind of a lemon.
Serving olives with a martini
• Spearing one to three olives on a designer toothpick
• Rinsing the olives for a short period to remove any loose portions of spices or herbs and also filtering the extra brine water out.
• It can be either placed on the edge of the glass or can be served in the drink
• One may choose to improvise the game by serving three distinctly different kinds of stuffed olives on a single toothpick
The dirty martini
A dirty martini requires little brine or olive juice. The most acceptable or appropriate choice will be a jar of real pressed olive juice made explicitly for cocktails.
One can also use pickled olives’ brine. However, it should be tasted first to determine how salty or sour it is. Both vodka and gin come with light, delicate flavors that can be pretty quickly overshadowed by large amounts of vinegar or salt. When in confusion, half the quantity of what the cocktail recipe suggested should be added, and then it should be adjusted to taste.
Before pouring olive juice from the jar, it should be strained for a brief period with the help of a small square-sized cheesecloth or a fine cocktail strainer for filtering any isolated parts of herbs and spices.
Handpicked olive martini recipes
1. Spicy jalapeno martini:
- 3 Ounce vodka
- 2 Ounce jalapeno juice
- Splash of dry vermouth
- Two to three jalapeno stuffed olives to garnish
Blend jalapeno juice and spirit in a martini shaker and also add ice. Shake for about half a minute or a little more and pour into a pre-chilled martini glass. Use jalapeno stuffed olives for garnishing.
2. The original Castelvetrano ‘Cini:
- 2 Ounce dry vodka or gin
- 1 Ounce dry vermouth
Put a cocktail glass in the refrigerator for chilling. Mix the vodka or gin and vermouth in the shaker, fill it halfway with ice, and shake or stir vigorously until well chilled and for about twenty seconds. Filter the drink into the pre-chilled glass and use Castelvetrano olives for garnishing.
3. Savory martini:
- 3 Sprigs rosemary (each being of one-inch length)
- 1 Tablespoonful vermouth or juice of garlic stuffed olives
- 5 Ounce gin or vodka
- Blue cheese stuffed olives to garnish
Put martini glasses in the refrigerator for fifteen minutes to chill. Add a rosemary sprig in the cocktail shaker and stir it for releasing oils. Put ice in the shaker and pour gin or vodka and vermouth into the martini shaker. Shake it vigorously. Eliminate reserved rosemary leaves from every sprig’s base and tie with one or two olives. Take out the glasses from the refrigerator. Add martini into the pre-chilled glasses with the help of a fine strainer to catch stray rosemary bits, if any. Use olives and rosemary sprigs for garnishing.
4. The Greek Peperoncini:
- 3 Ounce vodka or gin
- 2 Ounce Greek Peperoncini brine
- Splash of dry vermouth
- Whole Greek Peperoncini for garnishing
Add Peperoncini and spirit into the martini shaker and also put ice. Shake it for around half a minute or a little more and pour into a pre-chilled martini glass. Use one or two Peperoncinis for garnishing.
5. The original Bloody Mary:
- 4 Ounce Bloody Mary mix
- 1.5 Ounce vodka
- Splash of any favorite hot sauce
- Dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Splash of olive brine or pepper brine
- Ice for serving
- Olives and peppers for garnishing
- One celery stalk
Mix vodka and Bloody Mary. Add a dash of hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and a splash of olive brine or pepper brine. Pour over ice in a highball glass. Use olives and peppers for garnishing. Do not forget to complement the decoration with a celery stalk.