The history of the Dirty Martini is a lot like the cocktail itself: cloudy. But our favorite origin story comes from the Yalta Conference, the historic meeting between Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945. Before the conference began, FDR, a man known for his love of very dry, very cold martinis, mentioned that he was feeling a little hungover. Stalin recommended his favorite cure-all: vodka and pickle brine. Unfortunately, vodka and pickles were not on the breakfast menu, but Churchill came to the rescue with his personal stash of gin and olives. Legend has it he dumped the coffee out of its silver pot and used it as a makeshift shaker, mixing gin with olive brine. The resulting cocktail was a bit stained (or dirty) from the coffee remnants, but no matter—that tipple was just what the doctor ordered. While we wouldn’t recommend drinking this cocktail at breakfast, its savory, briny flavor is perfect for whetting your appetite during cocktail hour.
Mix it Up
For an even brinier cocktail, swap out the gin for vodka. The neutral spirit will let the salty, tangy olive juice shine through.
The Bronx is not a take on a Manhattan, as you might think. Rather, it’s a variation on a Perfect Martini. The cocktail dates back to the very early 1900s when a customer challenged Waldorf Astoria bartender Johnnie Solon to create a brand new cocktail. Solon shook up a mixture of gin, fresh orange juice, and sweet and dry vermouths. When the wai...