Here’s How to Make a Vodka Martini Dirty

Ever wonder what makes a vodka martini dirty? Get the inside scoop, plus how to make it, right here.

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Is there anything better than ordering a martini at a swanky cocktail bar while out on the town? For us, the answer is yes: staying in and mixing up drinks at home. This weekend, trade in your heels or dress shoes for slippers and comfy socks without sacrificing a great cocktail thanks to this dirty vodka martini.

While you’re spending the weekend in, try your hand at one of these impressive baking projects.

What Is a Dirty Vodka Martini?

A dirty martini is a martini made with olive brine or juice. The “dirty” doesn’t determine the dryness of the martini, so play with the vodka, vermouth and brine proportions to find one that you like.

What’s the Best Vodka for a Dirty Martini?

That depends on your tastes! Personally, I like to make a martini with Absolut Elyx because of its smooth mouthfeel and warm finish. Here are 8 more of our favorite vodka brands to try and find your favorite.

How to Make a Dirty Vodka Martini


  • Ice
  • 3 ounces vodka, chilled
  • ½ ounce dry vermouth, chilled
  • ½ ounce olive brine or juice
  • Pimento-stuffed olives


  • Cocktail mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Martini or coupe glass


Step 1: Mix ingredients

First, add some ice to a cocktail mixing glass (like this one from Mofado) then pour in your vodka, dry vermouth and olive brine or juice. Using a bar spoon, stir the cocktail for about 20 seconds, or until it’s gotten very cold. You’ll want to keep the spoon along the inside of the mixing glass to keep from jostling the ingredients too much. Sorry James Bond, but martinis are meant to be stirred, not shaken.

Editor’s Tip: Olive juice tends to be a bit stronger than the brine that’s in your olive jar, so add it to your martini a little at a time. We like Sonoma Syrup Company’s olive juice, which you can get on Amazon.

Step 2: Strain and serve

Place a strainer on your mixing glass, then pour the cocktail into a martini or coupe glass. Garnish with few stuffed olives and enjoy with your pinky out and feet up.

Editor’s Tip: Pimento-stuffed Picholine olives are the traditional garnish, but don’t feel like you have to stick with them. Go with bleu cheese-stuffed, garlic-stuffed or unstuffed olives!

Next, try making one of these 12 classic cocktails that are perfectly retro.

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Caroline Stanko
Caroline has been with Taste of Home for the past seven years, working in both print and digital. After starting as an intern for the magazine and special interest publication teams, Caroline was hired as the third-ever digital editor for Taste of Home. Since then, she has researched, written and edited content on just about every topic the site covers, including cooking techniques, buzzy food news, gift guides and many, many recipe collections. Caroline also acts as the editorial lead for video, working with the Test Kitchen, videographers and social media team to produce videos from start to finish. When she’s not tip-tapping on a keyboard, Caroline is probably mixing up a killer cocktail, reading a dog-eared library book or cooking up a multi-course feast (sometimes all at once). Though she technically lives in Milwaukee, there is a 50/50 chance Caroline is in Chicago or southwest Michigan visiting her close-knit family.