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The newest dirty martini trend is despicable to some (but perfect for summer)

Add ice to your Martini?

Dirty Martini
Eric Hood / Adobe Stock

If it’s good enough for James Bond, it’s good enough for us. But, while we don’t agree that the Martini should be shaken (as opposed to stirred), we do agree that it’s one of the best classic cocktails ever made.

If you’re a Martini fan, you’re well aware that a classic Martini is simple, elegant, and as perfect as cocktails get. At its most basic, it’s a drink made with gin and vermouth that’s garnished with an olive and often a lemon peel. There are alternatives to the drink. You can choose to use vodka as its base (but you must refer to it as a ‘Vodka Martini’). You can add more dry vermouth and call it a Dry Martini.

You can even go as far as adding olive brine and referring it to as a Dirty Martini. It also must be served in a martini glass. Historically, nothing else is up for debate. An Appletini is not really a Martini and neither is an Espresso Martini. They have Martini in their names, but they are just too different.

But, while we’re all about tradition. Sometimes, tiny tweaks can be made. If nobody decided to make blue cheese olives or add olive brine, we’d never know how to elevate the drink. That’s why we’re being open-minded about the use of olive ice cubes.

Olive ice cubes

Dirty Martini

There are certain cocktails that you couldn’t imagine adding ice to. One of those drinks is the Martini. It’s on par with adding ice to a glass of whole milk. Adding ice cubes would dilute the booze and make for a watery mess. That being said, you might be surprised that there’s a viral trend involving Martini ice cubes. It’s just that they’re a little different than you expect.

Instead of sampling and adding frozen water to your drink for no reason, some mixologists are making ice cubes with a mixture of water and olive brine with an olive frozen in the center.

How to use them

Stanislav Ivanitskiy / Unsplash

Here’s how it’s done: first you mix up your classic Martini. You add one or two of the pre-made olive brine, water, and olive-filled ice cubes to your Martini glass. Mix the Martini and pour it into the glass, over the ice cubes. Over time, the ice cubes will melt, changing your classic Martini to a Dirty Martini during that time.

Don’t forget the water

Ambitious Studio* - Rick Barrett / Unsplash

We know what you’re thinking: “Why would I add water when I can just use olive brine?”. Well, the water is important because it might not freeze properly without it. The limited water will also help balance the drink and even bring out more flavors. We get that to many, this is sacrilegious. But, if you’re willing to step away from tradition, you might be met with your new favorite way to make a Martini.

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
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