Dirty martinis are the standard gin and dry vermouth of a traditional martini with the addition of olive juice or brine. Olive brine gives a martini a salty bite that perfectly complements the other ingredients.
However, well-balanced, flavorful olive juice is necessary to impart that flavor into your martini. If you want to make delicious dirty martinis at home, you’ll need quality olive juice. Here are the best olive juices and what to look for when picking one out.
Dirty Sue Martini Mix is one of the original pre-bottled olive juices and continues to be well-loved. It is boasted to have no aftertaste, a non-oily finish, and pure flavor. Dirty Sue also has a few variations other than the original, including a hot and spicy one.
The Boscoli Olive Juice is consistently ranked as one of the best-tasting olive juices on the market. It is consistent, well-balanced, and affordable. However, keep in mind those who tend to like it the best are the ones that love a super dirty, salty, dirty martini recipe.
The Fee Brothers are known for making cordials, bitters, and brines. Their olive brine does not fall short. It is the actual brine used to process green olives, which impart a lot of flavors. The Fee Brothers strain the brine but leave just enough small pieces of olives to give the perfect dirty martini cloudiness and green olive flavor.
1888 Hand Pressed Olive Juice is pressed from whole Spanish olives using a one-ton press. 1888 Olive Juice is far better than the bottom of an olive jar with a true olive flavor with a brine balance. There is also a touch of pimento, creating a really unique addition to your cocktail.
Barsmith offers tons of great cocktail mixes, but their Dirty Martini mix is fantastic. It is made with freshly pressed California Sevillano olives which have a buttery tart flavor. The Barsmith olive brine is unfiltered, which ensures its richness. Reviewers have also frequently commented on how great it is in other cocktails, like with tomato juice in a bloody mary.
Ancient Olive Trees may make some top-shelf extra virgin olive oil, but they have also taken their premium California olives and made dirty martini juice as well, which is just as good. Their dirty martini juice is triple filtered, creating the cleanest taste a dirty cocktail can have. Ancient Olive Trees also package their juice in a bottle that protects it from light and makes it easy to pour right into your martini glass.
Filthy Foods has an entire line of premium mixers and garnishes for cocktails, but their olive brine is superior. They use naturally cured olives that have a rich, nutty, and woody flavor. The juice is filtered five times, leaving it silky and the perfect addition to your martini cocktails. The brine comes in easy-to-store pouches, each of which makes fifteen dirty martinis.
What to Look For in Olive Juice
With so many options to choose from, here are a few things to look for before choosing which one to throw in the fridge or bar.
Filtered vs. Unfiltered
Some olive juices are filtered, while others are unfiltered. The difference is that filtered juices do not have small pieces of olives floating in them. Which is better depends on how you like your drink.
If you love the cloudiness and the taste of the olive in your cocktail, an unfiltered juice would be the best, but if you want just a briny splash, a filtered option would be the best olive juice for you.
Type of Olive
Each of these selections uses different types of olives. Whether they use a blend or a certain type, they all impart a different taste. Our advice is to pick the one you always go for on an olive bar, so you know your recipes will turn out just as you expect.
Many of the best olive brines have taken extra care to curate their own unique flavor profiles. Some have extra saltiness, others are buttery, and some have a woody taste, so keep in mind what you are looking for when making your selection.
Make the Best Dirty Martini
If you’re looking for the best olive brine, one of these is sure to become your favorite. Whether you go with a classic like Dirty Sue or more elevated like Ancient Olive Trees, your martinis are surely going to be the best you’ve made. So grab your vermouth, vodka, or gin, a few olives for garnish, and pick one of the best olive juices to make a dirty martini just the way you like it.