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!

dirtymartini.jpg

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.