If you love the briny, savory flavor of a dirty martini, you’ve got to try this pickle martini. Where dirty martinis use olive brine, this pickletini is made with homemade pickle vodka and vermouth.
The key to a great martini is all about balance and temperature. Since it’s basically straight alcohol, getting the ratios right makes a huge difference.
This pickle martini is made with homemade pickle vodka.
Vodka is infused with whole pickles and brine for two or three days. Then the pickles are removed, and the vodka is ready to be used.
Pickle vodka and extra dry vermouth are stirred together with ice and strained into a martini glass. (A chilled martini glass is preferred!)
Swirling cold vodka and vermouth with ice makes it perfectly cold and all the more sippable.
Because the vodka has picked up the flavors of pickles over a couple of days, it has the aftertaste and essence of pickles but without the harsh vinegar quality of brine alone.
It’s smooth and drinkable.
Extra dry vermouth
For this cocktail recipe, I like to use extra dry vermouth.
Did you know that vermouth is a fortified wine? That means it has a shorter shelf life than hard alcohols like vodka or gin.
Once you’ve opened vermouth, store it in the refrigerator. After a month, it will start oxidizing and losing its complex flavor. If your vermouth is older than 3 months, I recommend grabbing a new bottle for this cocktail.
(Can’t find a way to use it that quickly? Make double lentil mushroom barley soup. Since it’s a fortified wine, it’s especially nice for deglazing mushrooms in a pot.)
How to make this cocktail
Fill a cocktail mixing glass with ice.
(Don’t have a cocktail mixing glass or shaker? A large empty pickle jar works great here!)
Pour pickle vodka and vermouth over the ice.
Stir with a long spoon until the drink is ice cold.
Pour the vodka & vermouth mixture into a martini glass while holding back the ice.
Garnish with 2 or 3 cornichons.
Other garnish ideas
Cornichons are adorable inside of a cocktail glass, but any pickles will work here.
You could do pickle planks, pickle chips, or finish with a pickle spear.
More cocktail recipes you’ll love
Keep the festive spirits going with these cocktail recipes:
- 3 ounces pickle vodka
- .5 ounces vermouth extra dry
- 2 or 3 cornichons garnish
- Fill a cocktail mixing glass or jar with ice. Pour in pickle vodka and vermouth. Stir until ice cold.
- Pour the vodka and vermouth mixture into a martini glass, while holding back the ice.
- Garnish with 2 or 3 cornichons (or other tiny pickles) and serve.