dirty martini

Learn about the history of the Dirty Martini

A classic and potent cocktail, the Dirty Martini is tasty, seductive and controversial. It is believed to have emerged in 1901. We tell you about its history here.

According to beverage writer David Wondrich, quoted in Punch, the first antecedent of the Dirty Martini dates back to 1901, “when John E. O’Connor served a Martini with mixed olives at the Waldorf Astoria.” G.H. Steele’s My New Cocktail Book, published in 1931, lists the recipe for a drink with gin, vodka, vermouth, bitters and olive brine.

Over time, it found favor with drinkers, including President F.D.R., who served and drank them at the White House. Today, this cocktail is loved and reviled in equal parts: thirsty customers order it in droves and some bartenders don’t appreciate it much.

As with all cocktails, the Dirty Martini has variations of bartenders who have decided to appropriate the recipe with innovative techniques and making use of artisanal, original and quality ingredients, such as, for example, olive juice and fresh vermouth.

The Dirty Martini can be made with either vodka or gin, but gin remains the preferred base spirit.


Dirty Martini recipe

50 ml of gin

10-15 ml white vermouth

2 bar spoons of olive brine

Type of glass: Martini

Garnish: olives

Preparation: Add the gin, vermouth and brine to a mixing glass filled with ice and stir for about 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled Martini glass and garnish with several olives.


Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.


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