Easy Dirty Martini Recipe – a Salty Twist on Tradition

Dirty Martini recipe

The Dirty Martini is a classic cocktail that adds a savory and briny dimension to the traditional Martini. It’s been a popular cocktail since the late 19th century. The term “dirty” in Dirty Martini likely originated from the fact that it appears cloudy or “dirty” due to the addition of olive brine.

My knowledge of the Dirty Martini drink didn’t come from some fancy mixology course or an upscale cocktail bar experience. No, it all started with a random episode of a TV show I binge-watched one weekend. The main character, a detective with a rugged charm, had a thing for Dirty Martinis. It seemed like the perfect drink to unwind with after a tough day, and it piqued my curiosity.

I remembered watching that detective stir up a simple yet enticing concoction of gin, a splash of olive brine, and a few olives for garnish. I thought to myself, “I can do that!” So, armed with my newfound knowledge (thanks, TV!), I decided to give it a shot.

Easy Dirty Martini recipe

I couldn’t help but feel a bit of excitement mixed with trepidation. After all, I was no cocktail expert, but I still could manage it somehow.

Since the salty and briny flavor of this Martini type comes from the olive brine, I can adjust it to suit my taste. Some prefer a subtle brininess, while others like it extra dirty with a pronounced olive flavor. The classic garnish for a filthy Martini is green olives. These olives can be pitted or stuffed with various fillings like blue cheese, garlic, or jalapeño for added flavor. I chose the basic one.

So, there I was, lounging on my couch, with a glass of traditional Dirty Martini in hand. Here is how to make the Dirty Martini:

Dirty Martini

A savory and briny twist to the traditional Martini
Total Time 8 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 180 kcal


  • 2 ½ oz gin or vodka e.g. Grey Goose, Tito’s, Tanqueray
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth e.g Carpano Bianco
  • 1/2 oz olive brine (for that 'dirty' flavor)
  • Ice cubes
  • 2-3 large green olives for garnish


  • Fill a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Pour in 2 ½ ounces (75ml) of your preferred gin or vodka.
  • Add 1/2 ounce (15ml) of dry vermouth.
  • To give your Martini that distinct 'dirty' flavor, add 1/2 ounce (15ml) of olive brine. Adjust the amount to your taste preference.
  • Stir the mixture well using a cocktail spoon or a long-handled stirring stick until it’s thoroughly chilled, usually about 30 seconds.
  • Strain the Martini into a chilled martini glass, using a strainer to catch any ice shards.
  • Garnish your Dirty Martini with 2-3 large green olives. You can skewer them on a cocktail pick or drop them directly into the drink.
  • Enjoy!


Instead of traditional green olives, you can garnish your simple Dirty Martini with pickled vegetables like asparagus, green beans, or even caper berries or pickled onions. These variations bring a different level of acidity and crunch to the drink.
Keyword alcohol, cocktails, martini

dirty martini variations

The classic Dirty Martini is a beloved cocktail known for its briny and savory flavors. However, you can adjust this original recipe to various exciting variations. Here are some delightful twists you can explore:

Dirty Martini with Flavored Vodka: Experiment with flavored vodkas, such as cucumber, dill, or pepper-infused varieties, to add a unique dimension to your Martini. These options can introduce fresh and intriguing herbal or spicy notes.

Dirty Tequila Martini: Swap out gin or vodka with tequila for an unexpected twist. The agave notes of tequila combine with the olive brine for a Southwestern flair.

Hot and Dirty Martini: Spice up your Martini by adding a few dashes of hot sauce or a slice of jalapeño to the mix. This spicy variation adds a delightful kick to the cocktail.

With herbs: Muddle fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, or thyme in the cocktail shaker before adding the other ingredients. This imparts a fragrant herbal essence that complements the briny olives.

Recipe for best Dirty martini

With Vermouth Variations: You can experiment Dirty Martini cocktail with different vermouths, like sweet vermouth or bianco vermouth, to create unique flavor profiles like wet or dry version.

Dirty Gibson Martini: Swap olives for cocktail onions to make a Gibson Martini with a briny twist. It’s a sophisticated and slightly sweeter alternative to the traditional one.

Dirty Bacon Martini: For a bold flavor, infuse your vodka or gin with bacon. You can do this by steeping bacon in the liquor for a few hours or using bacon-flavored vodka. Top it off with a crispy bacon strip as garnish.

Johanna Cleveland
About the author

Hi, I'm Kate, the creator of Happy Baking Days. I'm a food lover, recipe creator, and kitchen explorer. I have amateur baking knowledge gained from years spent in the kitchen with my grandma and mum, where I graduated slowly from dusting work surfaces with flour and licking the spatula to the finer arts of pastry and meringue. Now in my own kitchen, I put all those years of training into practice, experimenting with recipes and ingredients from around the world. Join me as I share my culinary journey and favorite recipes that make cooking a delightful experience.

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