Episode 12: The Dirty Martini


  • 2 1/2 ounces gin

  • 1/2 ounce dry vermouth

  • 1/4 ounce olive juice (to taste)

  • Garnish: 1 or 3 good quality green olives (I used a Sicilian variety called Castelvetrano)

Combine gin, vermouth, and olive juice in a mixing glass or shaker with plenty of ice. Stir (never shake - sorry James Bond!) until well chilled and strain into a chilled martini or coupe glass. Garnish with a skewer or pick with either one or three good quality green olives, but don’t serve just two! An even number of olives in a cocktail is considered bad luck!

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There had been a few similar cocktails in print a few years earlier, but the first person believed to put a dirty martini together in basically the same way you see them here was the one and only Franklin Delano Roosevelt, sometime in the 1930s or 40s.  

He loved to mix his own cocktails during his afternoon “Children’s Hours”, and he absolutely loved martinis. It’s said that he never mixed them the same way twice, always tinkering with ratios of gin to vermouth, or adding fruit juice or other things just to experiment with different flavors. It’s also said that most of the drinks he served were famously terrible.


Episode 11: The Vieux Carré


  • 1 ounce rye whiskey

  • 1 ounce cognac

  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth

  • 1 teaspoon Bénédictine

  • 2 Dashes of Angostura bitters

  • 2 Dashes of Peychaud’s bitters 

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice; stir well for 20 seconds and strain into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with a cherry.

vieuxcarre.jpg

The Vieux Carré dates back to a famous hotel bar in the 1930s. It first appeared in print in 1937, in “Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'Em”.

This cocktail is a New Orleans classic, and although the name is French, the pronunciation is pure Creole. Forget your French classes and how you think “vieux carré” should be pronounced. In New Orleans, it’s simply callled a “voo car-ray”.  In French the name means ‘Old Square’ or ‘Old Quarter’, which was the original name for the French Quarter in New Orleans.