Olive Oil Martini

An easy, pro bartenders’ infusion technique is the key to flavoring gin with rich and peppery green olive notes for an updated take on the classic dirty martini.

Olive Oil Martini
Skip the olive brine and infuse the gin itself with peppery green olive flavor.Erik Delanoy

While the world of vermouth is a beautiful and delicious one to explore, it is important to remember that lots of martini drinkers prefer their cocktails dirty. This riff on the dirty martini recipe makes use of a pro-bartenders’ infusion technique called “fat-washing”; it is a fun, easy-to-make alternative that provides layers of flavor and texture that are otherwise unattainable by simply splashing some olive brine into your cocktail shaker. Be sure to use a very fresh, pungent, and high-quality extra-virgin olive oil for the infusion.

Equipment

Olive Oil Martini
An easy, pro bartenders’ infusion technique is the key to flavoring gin with rich and peppery green olive notes for an updated take on the classic dirty martini.
Yield: makes 1 cocktail plus extra infusion gin
Time: 25 hours, 5 minutes

For the Olive Oil & Herb Gin

  • One 750-mL bottle London dry gin
  • 4 oz. (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme

For the Martini

  • 2½ oz. (5 Tbsp.) olive & herb-infused gin
  • ½ oz. (1 Tbsp.) blanc vermouth
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • Pitted green olives for garnish

Instructions

  1. A day before you plan to use the gin, start the infusion: To a large jar or airtight plastic container, add the gin, olive oil, rosemary, and thyme. Shake vigorously, then set aside at room temperature to infuse for 12 hours.
  2. Transfer the jar to the freezer for another 12 hours (or overnight). This will cause the olive oil to solidify and separate. Place a fine mesh strainer over a second large jar or container, then strain the gin, discarding any solids. Wash and dry the original jar and the strainer then line the strainer with a coffee filter. Strain the gin once again to remove any remaining sediment and oil. Use immediately or cover tightly and use within 6 months.
  3. Mix the martini: In a mixing glass filled with ice, add 2½ oz. of the infused gin gin, along with the vermouth and salt. Stir until well-chilled, then strain into a martini glass or coupe and garnish with as many olives as you like. Serve immediately.
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