While on vacation recently, I drank two things I don’t have very often: a martini and, separately, a shot of pickle juice. I didn’t count myself a fan of either, but both took me by surprise. So I combined the two.
Martinis are without a doubt one of the most classic of cocktails. But plenty of people I know are iffy on vodka and downright disdainful of olives. Gin has more fervent fans (I’m one), but it still has its detractors. Pickle juice, on the other hand, is usually stuff people pour out. Once them gherkins are gone, they dump the brine and recycle the jar. For shame.
A good martini is smooth, refined, and will get you effed the eff up. Add the juice from a jar of high-end dills and you might be surprised how much you like it.
Dill Pickle Martini
2 oz. vodka or dry gin (we prefer the gin)
1/4 oz. dry vermouth
1/2 oz. pickle juice* (more or less to taste)
1 pickle wedge or a few small slices (for garnish)
sprig of dill (optional, for garnish)
Directions: Put ice in a mixing glass and add vodka/gin, vermouth, and pickle juice. Stir quickly for about a minute. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with pickle wedge or slices.
* We recommend getting your juice from quality pickles — brands like Bubbies, McClures, or one of the many other good producers out there. We like a cloudy, spicy brine that adds a robust, refreshing flavor. Skip the clear-ish, boring vinegar you’ll find in some big-brand jars.