Olives and martinis are a classic combination, but true martini enthusiasts know that not all olives are created equal. Some have the right texture and flavors that make the perfect vodka or gin martini even more enjoyable. Before you invite anyone over for your next cocktail party, try out these nine best olives for martinis and serve them with confidence.
Best Olives for Martinis Winner
Filthy offers a line of olives and other goodies specifically designed to elevate your cocktail experience. Normally, we might pick one type of olive from the Filthy line, but they’re all so perfect and delicious as a garnish for your martini that we have to include the entire lineup.
Filthy offers a simple pitted large green olive with a nice meaty texture, but they also offer stuffed varieties including pimento, pepper, pickle, and blue cheese. Not only tasty, but these stuffed olives are also adorable. The pickle and pepper stuffed olives are stuffed with mini gherkins and Piri Piri peppers and offer an awesome presentation.
Best Olives for Variety
Dirty Sue is one of our favorite brands of olive juice for a dirty martini, so it only stands to reason that we’re also going to love their blue cheese stuffed olives. Dirty Sue stuffed olives are perfect for both vodka and gin martinis, but only if you’re a true lover of blue cheese.
Of all the blue cheese stuffed olives, Dirty Sue ranks high in flavor. The blue cheese is creamy yet pungent, and the olives themselves are just the right amount of salty with a great texture. Dirty Sue also offers olives stuffed with garlic, jalapeno, and feta. This is also a great brand for anyone that prefers kalamatas as their martini olive.
If you’re someone that loves a nice, classic pimento olive for your gin or vodka martinis, Collins Colossal Martini Pimentos are among the best olives you can find, especially for the money.
Collins olives are hand-packed and have a slightly buttery taste. These are great if you prefer a nice, juicy olive that’s a little larger than your standard cocktail olive variety. They also come in Vermouth, Manzanilla and Blue Cheese.
These imported olives are for the serious olive lover. They have a wonderful firmness to them which is important when they’re garnishing your favorite martini glasses. Brule Picholine olives lean towards the nutty side and have a beautiful olive taste without being too salty.
Part of what helps Brule olives maintain their flavor is that they aren’t pitted. True, this means that there’s a bit more work to put into them before sticking them on cocktail toothpicks, but the flavor is worth it. If you’re looking for a perfect edible Christmas gift or a special occasion hostess gift, these are a must for any home bar.
Sable & Rosenfeld are a bartender secret for making a delicious martini with just the slightest flavor of vermouth. These Tipsy olive are soaked in dry vermouth, which means you don’t even need to add any vermouth to your glass or cocktail shaker. These olives are nice and firm with a good bite, and there’s just a touch of sweetness from the pimentos.
Green Jay Gourmet Blue Cheese Olives are produced and packed in jars in small batches, ensuring that each olive has the flavors that will make your drinks stand out. The blue cheese flavor is robust, and the olive brine is perfect for adding a splash to a round of dirty martinis. These olives can also do double duty because they’re a great snack to add to your cocktail hour charcuterie board.
Green Jay Gourmet makes it onto our list twice, this time with their lemon olives. If you can’t decide between an olive or a twist, why not serve your martini with both packed into one delicious bite?
Green Jay Gourmet Lemon Stuffed Olives are each packed with lemon peels for a fresh taste and soaked in deliciously tangy olive brine. We love these tart green stuffed olives as an addition to a classic cocktail martini.
Divina Organic Pitted Castelvetrano Olives are cured without fermentation. This means that the olives maintain their beautiful, brilliant green color and look stunning as a martini garnish. The flavor of the Castelvetrano olive is mild and slightly sweet, with just a touch of salt from the olive brine. In the world of martini olives, these are a top choice for pure olive flavor and texture. They’re also yummy to eat chilled with a nice glass of wine.
Jack Rudy Cocktail Company Vermouth Olives are unstuffed and full of delightful flavor after soaking up a bath of olive juice and dry vermouth. The flavor profile of these olives makes them best suited for gin martinis, but we definitely wouldn’t shy away from using them in vodka martini cocktails either. The vermouth infused olive juice is perfect for adding straight from the jar into a dirty martini, then served garnished with these tasty green gems.
What to Look for in Martini Olives
We’re definitely not cocktail elitists here, and believe that the best drink is a personal cocktail that’s prepared exactly how you like it. If you’re a fan of olives in your martinis, you can just grab a jar off the grocery store shelf, but by elevating your olive game and considering a few details, your cocktail sipping experience is going to be so much better.
The right garnish can make all the difference, so here are a few things to consider while looking for the best olives for martinis.
Type of Olive
There are many different types of olives, but they’re not all created equal when it comes to garnishing your cocktails. Generally speaking, the best martini olives are green, plump, and have a nice bite to them. Picholine and Castelvetrano olives are among the top choices.
Although it’s a less common choice, some people do like a darker olive, like Kalamatas. These types of olives have a very different flavor and lack the salty brininess. The texture is also quite different. Still, if you’re having a cocktail party, offering a few varieties of olives in a dish is a nice touch.
When choosing a good cocktail olive, you want a nice, meaty texture that has a bit of a snap when you bite into it. This is one of the main differences between olives that are prepared and marketed specifically for cocktails and those you find on your typical grocery store shelf. Your standard grocery store green olive can be a bit too soft and not hold up well on a cocktail pick.
To Stuff or Not to Stuff
Olives are perfectly delish as a garnish on their own, but they’re also offered with many different types of fillings that add both texture and taste. Blue cheese and garlic are popular, but you can also find them stuffed with anchovies, almonds, feta cheese, lemon, and jalapeno, in addition to the standard pimento filling.
Brine Vs. Oil
Some olives are packed in oil, while others are packed in olive juice or olive brine. For purposes of a great martini, you want to stick with olive juice or brine. The first reason is that the brine adds a nice flavor, and you can add a dash and make a dirty martini (or even more brine for a flighty martini). Second, you really don’t want an oily residue in your cocktail, no matter what type of drink it is.
Choose the Best Olives for a Delightful Martini
How would you like your martini garnished – with one, two, or three olives? Whatever the answer, your martini is going to taste exponentially better with a good quality martini olive. Choose several from this list, do a little personal taste testing, and find your absolute favorite.