My love affair with martinis began the first time Sean Connery ordered one as the incredibly dashing James Bond. I was smitten with the cocktail (and with him). But by the time I reached the legal drinking age, I found the traditional martini just a tad too potent in boozy flavor. Enter my other love: olives. The two come together to create a very cool cocktail. And now thanks to Matthew, it’s easy to sip in James-Bond style. -Kate
There was a period of time, somewhere around my early-to-mid twenties, when I would only drink dirty martinis. My affinity for this libation arose after a friend of mine introduced me to a properly made “extra dirty” martini. I will forever be thankful to him for making my acquaintance with this cocktail and the olives that accompany it.
Finding a bartender who can make this with the correct proportions of vodka to vermouth to olive brine is not as common as I would like it to be. There is one place, however, that I can always count on.
Whenever I travel to northern New England, I always make time to stop in to my favorite place for drinks and comfort food. Located in Eaton Center, NH, this pub is a little nook tucked away at the back of an 1880s boarding school – now turned into an inn at Crystal Lake. This place will always – always – have the best dirty martini I have come across in my travels. The gathering room is called the Palmer House Pub. It is where the locals gather while the tourists and leaf peepers/skiers dine in the attached restaurant.
The bartender and owner, Tim, consistently creates a cocktail that leaves me impressed without fail – and noticeably more jovial than when I entered. This is especially true for his dirty martini. For some rhyme or reason – Tim has the ability to create a dynamic, yet expected and welcomed mixture of liquid delight.
This classic cocktail has a certain something about it which gives its consumer a sophisticated yet ahead-of-the-times vibe. Order one for yourself when you are out with colleagues or friends from out of town and then gauge their reaction. I guarantee they will think of you in a much brighter and slightly more mystical light.
I have tried to recreate this perfect mixture as best I can. The recipe below comes pretty close. I urge you to give it a try at your next gathering or your upcoming lazy, yet productive, Saturday at home.
I prefer my martini “extra dirty”, which just includes adding a bit more of the olive brine into the mix. You can play around with adding more or less of the brine, as everyone has a a slightly different palate. I’d be curious to find out which ratio you prefer…
- 2 1/2 shots of your favorite vodka
- 1/2 shot of dry vermouth
- 5 teaspoons of olive brine
- Cocktail Shaker
- Chilled Martini Glass
- In a cocktail shaker, mix ingredients together over a generous amount of ice.
- Shake. And then shake some more…
- Pour mixture into a chilled martini glass, garnish with a few olives and sip away!
Photos taken and styled by Matthew Petrelis.
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