The Perfect Dirty

by burntttoast

perfect martini

For years I had decided that martinis weren’t my thing. Too strong. what’s the point, give me one of those sweet ones instead. And to some extent, I still agree with that line of thought. But now I also know that there is a martini for everyone, or at least almost everyone, minus the uncool people. This came to be while I was having dinner at this Italian place with two dear friends of mine, and for some reason I was feeling a bit frisky and up for a bit of a challenge in the drink sector. I confided in the lovely waitress that I was new to this, and I don’t know what was said between her and the barman, or what he was plotting in that little genius mind of his, but what came to the table a few minutes later made me re-evaluate my life’s decisions and ponder over what else was lying ahead of me, yet to be uncovered or rediscovered. The martini was ever so slightly sweet, balanced out by the salt from the olive brine, and the gin, oh how it sung. None of that punch-in-your-face bull of “I’m a purist martini, triple concentrated and only held within the vicinity of a photograph of a water droplet, because dilution would be a sin. Vermouth was never in fashion anyway.” No, this was sophistication in a glass.

Weeks later, after repeated experimentation with vermouth and olives of different degrees colour and texture, we got there. And I’ve been making them ever since. You’ve heard of a perfect martini, right? That’s equal parts sweet to dry vermouth. I don’t care what you think, but I like the sweet edge the former gives to the drink. The way to prevent it from becoming  too girly or overpowering, is by giving it a nice dose of dirty with that olive brine. Essentially it’s combining a perfect and the dirty. In with the gin, stir, stir, stir, pour, garnish, yum.

If you’ve never been a martini person either, give this a try. It might just change your mind. And if you already have a favourite recipe, and you will have it no other way, then I hope that at least you can appreciate the photographs I made of mine.

martini 2

The Perfect Dirty

Makes one glass

10ml sweet vermouth

10ml dry vermouth

20ml olive brine from a jar of Sicilian olives (the green ones with the pip intact)

40ml gin

ice

3 Sicilian olives (or more – I’m a greedy creature)

Combine both vermouths with the olive brine, gin and ice in a jar or tall glass. Stir intensely for a minute or so until very very cold – you want a bit of dilution going on if you’re like me and don’t like being assaulted in the neck by what tastes like a shot of scented nail polish remover. If you’re unsure, give it a little taste. Give it a few more stirs if you’re not satisfied yet, or strain it into a coupe glass. Add your olives and enjoy.

Combine both vermouths with the olive brine, gin and ice in a jar or tall glass. Stir intensely for a minute or so until very very cold – you want a bit of dilution going on if you’re like me and don’t like being assaulted in the neck by what tastes like a shot of scented nail polish remover. If you’re unsure, give it a little taste. Give it a few more stirs if you’re not satisfied yet, or strain it into a coupe glass. Add your olives and enjoy.

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