Matthew Kelly/Supercall

Entertaining
3 Extra Dirty New Ways to Make a Dirty Martini

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The Dirty Martini is an acquired taste—not everyone can handle the salty burst of olive brine or the cocktail’s sheer strength. But those who love the savory cocktail can’t get enough of it. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as this FDR-era classic with its salty tang and silky texture. But perfect as it is, the Dirty Martini is due for a modern update.

So we enlisted Andrew Volk from Portland Hunt & Alpine Club in Portland, Maine, and Ky Belk of El Five in Denver, Colorado, to create their own dirty versions, along with a seaworthy Martini that we here at Supercall think is tops. Grab your mixing glass, chill a coupe and get these Dirty Martini variations on deck for your next dinner party.

Matthew Kelly/Supercall
At Denver’s Mediterranean restaurant, El Five, the Dirty Martini is an olive-lover’s dream come true. “Using Spanish olive oil to fat wash the gin was kind of a no-brainer for enhancing the typical Martini,” bartender Ky Belk says. “I love the aromatic notes the gin picks up from fat-washing, as well as the slight change in mouthfeel. Subbing in briny Manzanilla for vermouth was another nod to the region we are representing in the restaurant.” Belk kicks it up another notch by infusing his own olive brine with aromatics like peppercorns, sherry vinegar and rosemary. “In my experience, Dirty Martinis are really about the salt in the olive brine,” he says. “The salinity and complexity of the brine, paired with the more subtle character of vodka or gin, makes it easier to enjoy the classic cocktail with food.” Stir up this flavor bomb of a cocktail, grab a dish of olives and some salty ham, and live your best, briny life.

The Essentials

Gin
Sherry
Olive Brine
Matthew Kelly/Supercall
There’s nothing quite as rejuvenating as breathing in the clean, salt sea air of the Maine coast. And if you order a Dirty Martini at James Beard Award-nominated Portland Hunt & Alpine Club [http://huntandalpineclub.com/], you’ll get to taste it, too. After experimenting with his natural surroundings, owner Andrew Volk created a Dirty Martini that takes the imbiber on a nautical journey. “For us on the coast of Maine, seawater and seaweed are readily available—I actually have a bartender who harvests seaweed in his free time,” Volk says. “What I love about this Martini is how the saltiness of the fino sherry and the saltwater play together to replicate the savory flavor of olive brine.” Not only is it a welcome change from the usual recipe, but this Dirty Martini is also a great alternative for those who aren’t bona fide olive fans.

The Essentials

Gin
Fino Sherry
Kombu
You either love sardines, or you hate them. We fall into the former camp and can’t get enough of the briny fish—even the oil gets put to use in our take on a Dirty Martini. We fat wash gin with the omega 3-packed sardine oil, stir it with dry vermouth and olive brine, and garnish the salty masterpiece with buttery, sardine-stuffed castelvetrano olives. It’s wonderfully savory, soothingly silky and everything fans of the classic, olive-soaked cocktail could ever want.

The Essentials

sardine oil-washed gin
Vermouth
Olive Brine

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