I can’t even right now…
Dear sweet reader, I hope you like gin, olives, and dill pickles as much as I do, because I have made the most delicious martinis I have ever had.
I barely remember my first martini… the year was 2017, and I met my best friend and soul sister Joanne at a party that I crashed. We hit it off and decided to become friends. We bonded over our mutual admiration for gin, among other things. One night, in 2018, I went to her house and she fed me the booziest dry, dirty gin martinis; I can’t even repeat the hilarity that ensued because I can’t really remember most of the night… three martinis à la Joanne will knock your socks off. But I was hooked!
A WORD ABOUT VERMOUTH
A classic martini is made with London dry gin and dry, white vermouth in a ratio of 2:1. I don’t enjoy a classic martini because there is way too much vermouth in it for my tender palate. The thing that has kept me away from martinis in the past was the vermouth. Like anything, it’s an acquired taste. I find it bitter. I prefer a 5:1 ratio of gin to vermouth. I like the taste of gin. You must make your martinis with a gin or vodka you actually like the taste of if you were to drink it straight.
I discovered that a dry martini has only a hint of vermouth and a bone dry martini has none. I’m somewhere between a hint and bone dry… I’ve ordered my dry martinis “with just a titch” of vermouth and been pleased with the results. I feel like if I didn’t put any vermouth at all in my martini, it would cease to be a martini and I’d feel like a fraud. May as well drink the liquor straight from the bottle at that point.
“Glance at the vermouth bottle briefly while pouring the juniper distillate freely.”Sir Winston Churchill
SO MANY RULES… I HATE RULES.
There are so many rules around martinis. A dirty martini is one that has a splash of olive brine and is garnished with olives. But how much is a “splash”? I guess I like my gin martinis dry and dirty because I make them with a splash of brine and barely any vermouth. There is a fine balance between too much olive brine and not quite enough. I think I have found a recipe that works for me.
“The only American invention as perfect as the sonnet.”H. L. Mencken
SHAKEN OR STIRRED?
Again, more rules. Traditionally, you pour the gin and vermouth straight into your martini glass and stir, as shaking over aerates the drink and dilutes it. James Bond broke the rules. I like him. I have had a stirred martini poured into a martini glass, but I had it “on the rocks” so it still got diluted. I liked it that way too. I liked it so much I had three of them. Mmm
“A perfect martini should be made by filling a glass with gin, then waving it in the general direction of Italy”Noël Coward
Dirty Titch Martini
- 2.5 oz London dry gin, or whatever dry gin you love the best
- 1/4 oz dry, white vermouth
- 1 oz olive brine, divided
- Garnish: olives on skewer
1. Fill a shaker half full with ice.
2. Add the gin, vermouth, and 1/2 oz of brine. Shake for 30 seconds.
3. Strain into chilled martini glass. Pour in the rest of the brine, to taste. Stir. Garnish with olive skewer.
Or, pour the gin and vermouth into a glass with ice: stir it up. Then pour it all into a chilled martini glass, for on the rocks, or strain it into the martini glass for neat. Add the brine, to taste. Stir. Garnish with olive skewer.
IT’S KIND OF A BIG DILL…
Hold onto your hat, dear reader…
I think we should all take a moment to acknowledge this blog’s first dill pickle post. You’d think my very first post would have been a pickle recipe. I told you, I don’t follow the rules. But here it is… a boozy pickle drink that will have you smashed if you’re not careful. But who likes being careful? Not this girl.
CALGARY: MOUNTAINS, COUNTRY MUSIC, BEST FRIENDS, AND DILL PICKLE VODKA
I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I moved to Calgary in 2015. The Rocky Mountains made the city feel instantly like home, having grown up in Campbellton, NB, at the foothills of the Appalachians, with a small mountain right in front of my house. Not only did I get to live near mountains again, I also rediscovered my love of country music. Calgary is a city of cowboys, where it’s pretty normal to see guys in cowboy boots and cowboy hats (so hot!). The Calgary Stampede is one of my favourite celebrations ever! Such fun! What I love best about Stampede is the weird food and drinks they serve every year… bunch of rule-breakers! And I love it!
Calgary is also where I met some of the best friends of my life. So many booze-fuelled shindigs and shenanigans. Ahh what a wonderful three years I had there.
Not long after I moved to Calgary, I discovered that the liquor stores there sold dill pickle vodka. I was so happy! My life was enriched! I made Dill Pickle Caesars all the time. I didn’t think to make a martini with it…
So I was totally bummed when we moved back to Ontario and I realized that LCBO didn’t carry my favourite dill pickle vodka. My Caesars would never be the same. However, good friends from Alberta would come for visits and bring me bottles of dill pickle vodka, which was so thoughtful. So I tend to have it as a staple item in my liquor cabinet. I actually ration it.
I’m hoping that people don’t actually really like my dill pickle martini so I don’t have to use up my dill pickle vodka. Maybe I shouldn’t share the recipe at all.
“The elixir of quietude”E. B. White
Like I said earlier, it’s imperative that you like the taste of the liquor you’re going to put into your martini. I can drink dill pickle vodka straight, no flinching. I also love dill pickle brine. I have actually had tears over tasting a truly perfect dill pickle. Joanne also nearly friend-divorced me when I recorded myself chomping away on a pickle while I moaned in ecstasy and sent her the recording.
INFUSING YOUR OWN VODKA
If you’re desperate to make a dill pickle martini and you don’t live in a place where dill pickle vodka is sold, you can actually make your own pickle-infused vodka. There are tons of recipes online. I’m going to make some soon to try it out for myself because I’m about to run out of dill pickle vodka…
The Filthy Pickle Martini is not for the faint of heart. Steve thinks there’s something wrong with my taste buds; he shuddered when he tasted it. He said it was way too strong for him. Tastes like just plain pickles to me. Enjoy, friends!
Filthy Pickle Martini
- 2 1/2 oz dill pickle vodka
- 1/4 oz dry white vermouth
- 1 oz dill pickle brine, divided.
- Garnish: sliced pickles on a skewer, fresh dill
1. Fill a shaker half full with ice.
2. Add the vodka, vermouth, and 1/2 oz of brine. Shake for 30 seconds.
3. Strain into chilled martini glass. Pour in the rest of the brine, to taste. Stir. Garnish with pickle skewer and fresh dill.
Or, pour the vodka and vermouth into a glass with ice: stir it up. Then pour it all into a chilled martini glass, for on the rocks, or strain it into the martini glass for neat. Add the brine, to taste. Stir. Garnish with pickle skewer and fresh dill.
“I like a little pickle.”Alysha