At our blind dirty Martini tasting, honorable mention went to the pre-batched “dusty” Martini of Jean Michel and Eric Alperin from The Copper Room in Yucca Valley, California. Though the judges found the booze (in this case vodka) to be slightly too muted, it made the cut for its notable brine, a combination of pickled jalapeño juice and muddled olives that are rested with the vodka for an extended period before being strained off. That it made the list only reinforces the all-important element of the brine. “It has way too much brine,” said Toby Cecchini, “but it may be the best one.”
Yield: About 750 ml
- 750 ml vodka, preferably Gruven potato vodka
- 200 grams Queen Pimento olives
- 200 grams Castelvetrano olives
- 3 1/4 ounces dry vermouth, preferably Dolin
- 3 teaspoon jalapeño juice from pickled jalapeños in Escabeche
- 3 teaspoons water
Garnish: one or three olives
- Strain the olives from the brine. Take the time to really remove all the brine from olives by agitating them in a colander for a while.
- Add the olives to a large bowl or Cambro container and muddle aggressively.
- Add the vodka, vermouth, water and jalapeño juice to the olives.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 72 hours.
- Strain the mix through a micron Superbag. Squeeze the olive meat in Superbag to make sure to get all the liquid out.
- Do a final strain through two coffee filters. This will take time, and replacing the filters a couple of times will help.
- Place the final liquid mixture in a glass bottles in the freezer until ready to serve.
- To serve, pour 3 ounces of batch into a chilled Martini glass.
- Garnish with one or three olives on a spear.