the dirty gin martini

Are there any Mad Men fans out there?

Back in the day (ahem, like 2 years ago), I was OBSESSED. I devoured Mad Men like there was no tomorrow, and I loved every minute of it. The only downside? Every time I watched an episode, I got this insane desire to drink whiskey mid-day and smoke like a chimney like they do in the show…e.g. not the healthiest of behaviors!

I still love to play an episode here and there, if only to be transported to the (admittedly, fake) 1960s and all of it’s tacky, kitschy greatness. One of my favorite things about the show is it’s meticulous attention to detail. Every book, poster, drink, snack, toy, gadget, etc. is totally authentic to the time, and it’s so interesting to see how these items have become obsolete, modernized, or even back in fashion.

Which brings me to martinis. They’re ‘back’! And here to stay, I hope.

Martinis are…how should I put this…an acquired taste. A lot of martini-lovers have very strong opinions on what makes the ‘perfect’ martini (Gin! Vodka! Olives! Onions! None of the above!), but if you’ve never tried one and you want to ease yourself into the experience, look no further. I’m going to show you exactly how I make my favorite drink: the dirty gin martini.

Now be warned: this drink is NO JOKE. It’s strong, it’s not sweet, and it’s a little bitter. If you’re the type of person who prefers colorful, fruity libations (no judgment – you do you!), you may want to skip this post.

If, however, you’re adventurous and a fan of olives, read on.

First things first, assemble your ingredients.

To make a dirty gin martini, you will need:

2.5 oz. Gin (or vodka if you prefer, but I highly suggest starting with gin)

Dry vermouth

Olive brine

3 Olives + toothpick

Cocktail shaker

Ice cold martini glass (I stick one in the freezer about 30 mins before starting)


Once you’ve got all your items, measure out your Gin into a shaker, followed by a splash (a splash! not more) of Vermouth. Add as much brine as you like – the more, the ‘dirtier’ (aka better in my opinion). Throw in a small handful of ice, and shake that shaker like there’s no tomorrow.

In order to avoid that whole ‘shaken not stirred’ controversy, my shaking method is actually more of a circular motion, in which I gently swirl the shaker until it’s contents are freezing cold.

Once it’s sufficiently cold, bring your martini glass out of the freezer.

(And please ignore my disgusting, half-chewed thumbnail. I guess I really was in need of a martini!)

Poke three olives onto a toothpick, plop it in, and pour that beautiful mixture into the glass.

And that’s IT!

Just sit back, relax, and sip that delicious cocktail.

Soooo, have a I convinced you to try a martini?

Come on, you can do it!

And if you don’t like it, just give me a call and I’ll be over in minutes to help you out 🙂


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